Speaking of books …

Did you see guest blogger Julie Sturgeon’s post about the fallout of pushing her husband to give away his books?

Many of us, including Julie’s husband, have an intense and personal connection to their books. The contents of our shelves define our interests, our passions and our quirks. Books given as gifts remind us of the giver. College textbooks recall our exploration of new ideas and authors. Even if we never read them again, books tend to be more than just real estate on our coffee tables, night tables and book shelves.

So those of us who are ardent bibliophiles can easily imagine how much books mean to people who can’t easily obtain them. The International Book Project gets this. Its mission is to provide desperately needed books to people in developing countries, where libraries are scarce or non-existent.

Here’s a list of the books that the IBP most needs. They must be in excellent condition:

  • Books for native speakers of Spanish and French
  • English grammar
  • Science texts (K-University)
  • Math texts (K-University)
  • Dictionaries and picture dictionaries
  • Medical Texts
  • Agriculture and Animal Science texts
  • Vocational books (plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry)
  • Children’s library books (picture story and chapter books)
  • Encyclopedias newer than 1990

(They don’t accept magazines, journals except JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine, encyclopedias older than 1990, workbooks or textbooks more than 10 years old, unless they’re agriculture-related.)

If you have any books that the International Book Project can use — that you’re ready to let go — consider sending them to this Lexington, Ky.-based nonprofit group for distribution. Or if you’re headed overseas, help deliver some books to some enthusiastic recipients.

Owning a virtual library on your Kindle or iPad doesn’t get you off the hook for donations. You can always contribute cash.


About organizesf

Professional organizer June Bell (www.organizesf.com) combats clutter and chaos with sage advice, tested techniques and good humor.
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