Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Making My Bookish Habit Mean Something - A Bookish Discussion

Things have been pretty quiet lately on the blog, if you haven't noticed. We all reach the occasional roadblock in our blogging careers when life kind of gets in the way for a while. Thankfully, most of us can usually get right back into the swing of things. That's basically what happened around here. After a string of unfortunate dramatic happenings in my life coupled with a boat load of working hours, I kind of found myself not necessarily unable, but more like unwilling to read or blog.

I was in a slump, I wasn't loving what I was reading, I wasn't loving the fact that I spend so much time and money on books because like many "kids" my age, I'm always broke. So basically, in striving to not be as broke anymore, but also striving for this to all actually have a point and do something good that will make me happy and help others, I've come up with a plan:

Actually found somewhere to donate to for
starters: http://www.firstbook.org/
$10 = 4 books!
I've decided that for every book I buy, I will donate either a book or at least $5.00 in some way (monetarily or otherwise) to someone in need, whether it be an actual person, a charity, a private fundraiser. I'd love to keep it as book-focused as possible, but obviously if I'm about to donate in some way and I see a need that isn't book-related, I'll fill it, right?

I came up with this idea while discussing something I saw at work with a co-worker. Bear with my as I tell my little story. I work at a shoe store and a while back a mother and her young daughter, probably about 5 years old, were shopping. The little girl was asking for everything under the sun, like most kids do. As the mother and her child were checking out, I overheard the mother telling the child something along the lines of, "You know the rule. If you want to buy something special for yourself, you also need to buy something for someone less fortunate." The child didn't have enough money (allowance or something, I'm sure) to buy two little trinkets, one for her and one for someone less fortunate, so she didn't buy anything at all.

Now you'd think the kid would throw a total fit and freak out, demanding that the mother buy her the item, and that the mom would eventually give in like a lot of parents seem to do these days. But nope. At 5(-ish) years old, she did know the rule, and it was clear that the parents didn't just make this up on the spot. The girl nodded solemnly and asked her mom if they could come back next week to buy two little trinkets, and the mother agreed. I don't know for sure if they ever came back, cause you know how kids are. They want a toy one day and forget about it the next, but I honestly couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. I knew for sure that that was a rule I wanted to bring into my household when I have kids one day (hopefully many years from now, eek!).

So, after thinking about this for a while, I started to realize that I couldn't expect my child, who will hardly understand the importance of what I'm asking of them, to do this when I don't live my life that way. Why should I get to buy new clothes or gadgets for myself and tell my kid they can't have a toy unless they are able to buy two.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that there would be some exceptions: birthdays, christmas, etc. Also, if I'm buying, say, a new TV, I'm obviously not going to buy two. But I think that this idea I've formed would definitely give me pause before running out and buying a new TV. I would obviously want to do something bigger than donating a book and would really think about whether I needed something so big before I went and got it.

Because I'm a big brat and buy tons of books and lots of other stuff for myself all the time, I'm going to start small lest I go into withdrawals and completely give up on my cause. I'm going to start with books. I plan on donating in many different ways, I just haven't figured them all out yet.

Actually, that's kind of what I was hoping for from you guys: some ideas on how to donate in bookish ways. Small donations, obviously, because I will be buying one or two books at a time, usually. Do you know any bigger charities that work in reading and literacy? Do you have any friends raising money for something book-related (e.g. a teacher in need of books for their classroom, etc.)? Please share with me if you have any ideas!

I need that and I also need your input. Do you think I'm totally crazy? Do you think this is a horrible idea, horrible to impose on myself and my future kids? Or is it something you think you could do?

I'm really excited to do something in my small way that might help instill a love of reading in someone else one day, and I hope that this maybe makes some of you think about ways to give back, too.

I can't wait to give my reading habit a bit more meaning than just stimulating my mind and sharing my love of books with the world, which is pretty darn important as it is. I also can't wait to hear what you all think! Let's talk!!


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