For the Love of Books….

I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably fond of books.

By a strange coincidence, so am I.

When I was a kid, my mom read to me all the time. Books I’m guessing most of you have never heard of: Socks for Supper, Little Runner of the Longhouse, and Humbug Witch….

My lovely books

(You envy my circa 1970 orange kitchen countertop.) 

These books are indescribably precious to me. I’m sure you understand why.

She also read me books you probably *have* heard of: Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, & Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day….

We also went to the library. We went to the library alot.

Sarah and I read to Oot all the time. And while I actively encourage people *not* to buy him toys, (because he has enough toys.) I never, ever mind when someone brings him a book. Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books.

011

(These are just the *upstairs* bookshelves.)

I’m guessing many of you grew up in bookish households too. Because that’s how it works. If you grow up with books, you learn to love books….

And if you don’t grow up with books…. Well….

Here’s the thing. Do you know that there are kids that don’t have any books? No books at all?

If someone had bounced this idea off me as a kid, I wouldn’t have even understood it. How could you have no books? Books were a given. They were like gravity and air. You couldn’t *not* have books.

But I never had to grapple with this idea as a kid. I was lucky.

I was already an adult when I learned some of the statistics. I learned that in middle-class homes there are an average of 13 books for every kid. (A number that still seems freakishly low to me.)

But in some of the poorest parts of this country, there can be, on average, only one book for every three hundred children.

I couldn’t have understood this as a kid, and as an adult it’s hard for me to get my mind around. Honestly, I can’t process it in any rational way, and every time I try, I find myself getting terribly, terribly fucking angry.

So I’m going to do something stupid. Despite the fact that I’m currently running my own charity’s fundraiser right now, I’m going to talk to you about a different charity.

I’m going to talk to you about First Book.

first_book_logo_color

Here’s the simple version: First Book is an organization looking to fix this problem. They give books to kids who don’t have any.

Think about that. Some kids have never owned a book.

You see, First Book works with schools and libraries and publishers to–

Hmmm… Let’s see if I can find a video that will explain this….

Watch that. Seriously. It’s not even two minutes long. You have the time.

Keep in mind that that that video is six years old. Since then, First Book has distributed more than 100 million books to schools, libraries, and families.

First Book is responsible for putting books in the hands of millions of kids. For some of these kids, it’s the first book they have ever owned. For some it’s the first book they have ever held.

There are two reasons I’m mentioning this today.

1. Last week, I got an e-mail from First Book. They’re running a promotion where every donation is being tripled because of a partnership with Random House Children’s Books.

2. Right now, we’re selling a charity calendar with photographer Lauren Zurchen.

nov full

(Click to Embiggen.)

I’ve already mentioned this. But the part that bears repeating is that all the proceeds from the calendar are going to be split between Worldbuilders and First Book. 

So here’s the deal, if you buy this calendar before Dec 31st (Which is the best time to buy a calendar, really.) We’ll donate the money to First Book before the deadline, so it will count triple.

And you know what else? Because I’m all weepy right now from watching a bunch of those First Book videos, and because the thought of kids growing up without books makes me want to rage quit the entire earth, I’m going to do something extra:

For every one of Lauren’s calendars someone buys between now and Dec 31st. I’m going to donate $5 out of my own pocket to First Book.

20131209_030854(I couldn’t find a $5 bill here in the house.)

So *that* donation is going to be tripled as well.

And you know what else? I’ll do the same thing for the Heifer International Calendar we’re selling in The Tinker’s Packs. I’ll even do it if you’re buying them in the combo packs we have set up so you can buy more than one and get a price break.

You’re all geeks, you can do the math. After my matching donation gets added to the proceeds from the calendar, then it gets tripled by Random House, that  means for every one of these calendars someone buys, First Book will be giving out around 10 books to kids who desperately need them.

Think of how much you loved reading books when you were a kid. Now think of that times ten.

And you know, you also get a cool calendar filled with pictures of fantasy authors being awesome.

Sept top

And money will go to Worldbuilders, too.

There’s really no downside here.

*     *     *

Since I’m hoping some of you will be visiting the Tinker’s Packs Soon, I’d like to direct you to something new that *just* showed up. Something I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to offer this year….

IMG_3040

Earlier this year, I teamed up with the Harry Potter Alliance to add a collection of blogs and articles I’d written to their annual fundraiser.

In return, they’ve let us carry their awesome Chocolate Frogs in The Tinker’s Packs.

The mission of the Harry Potter Alliance is to raise awareness about social injustice and hopefully bring it to an end. Their Chocolate Frogs are part of that mission. You see, the company that produces the officially licensed Frogs refuses to release the source of their cocoa. This is a big deal, given that cocoa is one of the most corrupt agricultural crops in the world, where a huge portion of the world’s harvest uses some really horrific child labor.

If you want the details about the HPA’s Chocolate Frog campaign, take a look over here.

When the company producing the frogs refused to disclose where their cocoa comes from, the HPA decided to make their own Chocolate Frogs from Fair Trade chocolate. They wanted to show it was possible, and that people would prefer to buy a product that’s ethically produced, even if it costs a little more.

We think the same thing. So we’re selling some in The Tinker’s Packs. They make great stocking stuffers, so you can head on over and grab some in either Milk or Dark Chocolate. Each box comes with a Wizard Card and a nice warm fuzzy that you’ve done something awesome today.

We’ve only got 300 of these, so you might want to move fast. We’ve been selling out of things really quickly this year….

And lastly, an auction.

  • Auction: Stanchion’s earring in 14k gold.

P1050336

Folks who have followed the blog for a while know the only gold Talent Pipes in this world are the ones I give out to people. People who have helped me beta read my books, improved my life, or just generally been awesome in ways I appreciate.

In the Four Corners, the only people who have gold pipes are Deoch and Stanchion, because they own the Eolian and they’re slightly smug about that fact.

Stanchion wears his as an earring, and this year, Badali Jewelry offered to make a single replica of Stanchion’s earring in 14 karat gold for us to auction off.

It’s the only one in existence, and you can bid on it over here.

Also, since we’re talking about Badali, I’ll mention that for the duration of the fundraiser, they’re donating 10% of sales to Worldbuilders if you use a special coupon code.

The code is good on anything in their store, AND they’ll give you a deal on shipping too.

If you want to do some holiday shopping for the geek in your life, odds are you’ll find a lot to suit you over on their website. Especially since they hold the licenses for The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time, Mistborn, and a bunch of my stuff, too.

  • US Customers – WBLDUSA13

US customers get free USPS Priority Shipping and 10% of your order will be donated to Worldbuilders.

  • International Customers – WBLDINT13

International orders get $10.00 off shipping and 10% of your order will be donated to Worldbuilders.

*     *     *

Want to learn more about Worldbuilders? You can check out our shiny new website here. Or you can get all the details about this year’s fundraiser on my blog.

Thanks for tuning in folks, and thanks for helping to spread the word….

pat

This entry was posted in Worldbuilders 2013. By Pat61 Responses

61 Comments

  1. imnosuperhero
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    If you get any more charitable I’m just going to start referring to you as Mother Theresa. “hey man, did you read Mother Theresa’s latest book? It’s badass!” …”wow, Mother Theresa has some awesome stuff for Worldbuilders this year!”…”holy shit, Mother Theresa needs to shave those legs before doing pinup calendar poses…” ;)

    Keep changing the world, sir. Mother. Whatever.

  2. kamaitachi113
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    You couldn’t find one five but you could find three twos? You really do live an interesting life.
    I’m on board with the calendar plan, this will be an interesting change from the “Goats in Trees” I’ve had the last two years.

  3. Thebackpack
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    But kids are supposed to have books! This… ARGH!

    I not going to buy a calendar, since the international shipping is cost-prohibitive, but I’ll donate directly to Worldbuilders and First Book instead.

    Seriously, the thought of children not having books is horrible.

  4. christie
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    The shiny new site looks amazing. I hope it helps things run smoothly.

    I didn’t know some cocoa has tainted origins. Thanks.

    I think all dollar amounts should be visually represented using two dollar bills.

    It’s heartbreaking to see kids in poverty. One of the schools I work in has a lot of struggling children. They get free breakfast and lunch during the school year. Some don’t have clothing or food at home. Some become become homeless with their families. I donate clothes, books, shoes, and toys when I can. I highly recommend “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” by Ruby Payne to anyone interested, pages 52-59 are quite eye opening. (I hope it’s ok I mentioned that book)

    Thanks for making the world better! Wishing you lots of stress free warm fuzzies.

  5. Oatmeal
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    And now I’m even more excited I bought one of those amazing calendars. Hooray for books for kids!!!

  6. Steve MC
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Most awesome triple word score, especially when it’s kids scoring books.

    Another way to help First Book is through the Literacy Site, who they’re partnered with.

    Every day I click on the button on this link, which helps send funds to them, and then click on all the other tabs, too. Takes fifteen seconds a day, and it’s free. And if you can, there’s plenty of ways there to help fund them.

    http://theliteracysite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/lit/home

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

      “Triple Word Score” would have been a good title for this blog….

  7. Norriar
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    As much as I agree with the Concept of the Fair Trade campaign, practically it doesn’t help the people it’s intended for. Here is a breakdown and explanation.

    http://www.learnliberty.org/videos/combating-global-poverty-cup-coffee

  8. sandibd
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    I swear I am not hijacking this thread. I promise. But since Pat shared some of his beloved children’s books, I thought it would be interesting to see what are some books we all recall from childhood that meant a lot to us: For a story book, mine was Christina Katherina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch. What I loved about it was how much imagination was poured into what could be done with one box. Right up my alley. In my tweens, it was the Heidi series of books and The Secret Garden. I would love for others on here to share some of their fondest book memories from childhood.

    • h28koala
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

      I loved Anne of Green Gables (movies were great too!) and A Little Princess.

      One of my favorites when I was a little kid was “Fox Goes out on a Chilly Night” Maybe because it was a book that you could also sing and Mom would sing it to me.

      • hjl
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

        The Crate Train by Dorothy Z. Seymour. My mom would read it to me an my brother and then we had to make the crate train with boxes and pots on our heads!

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

        I was obsessed with Frog and Toad.
        As well as Corduroy. I loved Corduroy so much, I still have the bear I named after him in Preschool. My friends dog bit his nose off when I was 23 years old…I cried.

        It was ridiculous, I admit.
        But I still don’t particularly care for that dog.

      • imnosuperhero
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

        “mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” and the Sweet Pickle books. Later the Boxcar Children took over my life.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

      This isn’t a hijack. Totally legitimate.

      I’d also like to add: Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing.

    • Jzone
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

      Amazing memories from this blog entry… Dad reading to me from ages 3 to about 6 when I took over for myself. And he read the Tarzan books, Hardy Boys etc. so he would have fun too, not kids books. It rocked, better than TV many nights. Fav’s from 6 yrs old on were Encyclopedia Brown, Judy Bloom, the original Ian Fleming Bond books (around 9 yrs old) and what eventually got me hooked big time on fantasy, Patricia McKillips Riddle Master of Hed series (around 10).

      I don’t actually use real paper calendars anymore… so gifts I guess? :)

      One of my favorite quotes I keep in mind reasonably often…

      “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Mark Twain

    • Kashiraja
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

      “the checked tiger” a book from an italian illustrator that I am not sure was translated but it is awesomely funny. a boy goes to india with an uncle explorer to find a mythical tiger.

    • Robo
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

      The Hardy Boys series by Edward Stratemeyer et al (published under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon).

      And then later, of course, the Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson. Oh, wait. Sorry, he “rewrote” it.

    • avidreadergirl
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

      The Littlest Knight, Mom had to buy the book from the library after story-time because I refused to leave without it. Also Little Bear, Owl at Home, There is a Monster in my closet!

      I always put a few children’s books in the toy donation barrels that our local fire department runs during the holidays, I remembered how much I loved getting books as gifts when I was small.

    • Dianadomino
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

      As a child my picture books were Mike Mulligan & his Steam Shovel and Harry the Dirty Dog. Growing up I had Heidi and The Secret Garden, and in the summers, when I visited my relatives I would read the Little House series and various Sci-Fi books my great-grandma gave me, like More than Human and Stranger in a Strange Land.

    • cdaveb
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

      My favorite books from when I was young were The Brothers Lionheart and Ronia The Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren. They’re not as well known in the states as her other work (primarily Pippi) but they’re excellent books and really should be better known. I always buy copies for friends when their kids get old enough to appreciate them (sometimes tricky as they are frequently out of print).

    • Noth
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

      I loved those really beautiful, detailed picture books when I was younger but my favourite I believe was this old Peter Pan picture book and the Secret Book of Gnomes. We lost the Peter Pan book, which I still mourn to this day.

      I just remembered I also loved reading this kids encyclopaedia. I don’t remember what it’s called but I kept going back to it.

  9. Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    First you’re such a fantastic man and this is why the world loves you!

    Second I want to say how much I love the face that you have at least 3 $2 bills in your house, but not a 5.

  10. Argent
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    I am growing more and more amazed (by the day) at how much Pat does for Worldbuilders and other projects to reduce world suck and increase world awesome. That’s some serious effort happening there. And some serious money. And very serious time.

  11. Frits van Campen
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Can you show us a picture of the fable library-alot?

    • Frits van Campen
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

      fabled*

      • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

        I was going to try and draw it. But it was really late, and I wasn’t sure how many people would get the joke.

  12. Melissa
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    I also grew up reading with a plethora of books. I cannot imagine a child not growing up with even one book!

  13. h28koala
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    I have always felt the same exact way about books. I have a library in my house that is full to the ceiling of books. And I just keep getting more. I love the excitement of opening a book and not know what you will encounter. I love the smell. I love the feel of the paper. I love seeing what type of typeset the author has chosen. For these reasons the kindle has not converted me. I also use the library at least once a week and have been doing so since I was old enough to read. That said I was also flabbergasted to learn that children did not have access to books. So I found about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in which for $30 bucks a year you can support a child without access to books to get a book every other month. It comes in the mail addressed to THEM! I am so happy to be a part of that and I try to give the gift of books to as many kids as I can.

    I did not know about First Book but I fully intend to support that organization as well. This is such a simple way that you can make an impact on a child for the rest of their lives! Thank you for bringing these wonderful charities to light!

    Additionally – I adore chocolate and keep an eye on fair trade practices (also my job – environmental consciousness for an organization – yes I am the Jiminy Cricket that chirps annoying things like “Can we recycle that? Don’t you want to figure out a way to offset our carbon footprint? Why don’t we plant a garden on the roof?”) and I did not know about the chocolate frogs. I will be purchasing many in the future.

    As always blog much appreciated.

  14. marcocanov
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    Pat,

    I recently read a report by UNESCO and they measured the quality of life for children. Did you know that one of the metrics in determining a child’s well-being is if they have 10 books at home? 10 BOOKS!!

  15. speedknob
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    I am in the process of moving, and although books weigh a ton, I am having a hard time trimming down. Some I have had for years, others I wish to. Many I have given away, to share wonder and awe with others, but many more remain. Books were my constant companion during a lonely childhood, a friend in need while far from home, even when I had no home at all.

    In short, I’m in.

  16. Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    We used to be licensed foster parents, and those kids arrive with their stuff in a garbage bag, and it rarely included books. Hard to fathom.

  17. surelyurjoking
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    If we already purchased the calendar, how can we help First Books?

    Thanks!

  18. Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    This is sad but so true. I live in an immigrant heavy rural area, lots of seasonal work and low income residents, we get kids in the library all the time that have no books and rely on the County Library/School Library (which is pretty much just old stuff we took out of County *sigh*) for anything to read.
    I’m definitely going to recommend they check out First Book, we pretty much rely on donations and grants for ANY new additions to our library since the community is so small.
    We were lucky enough to get a grant recently that allowed us to expand our Spanish reading section with children’s books, they have flown off the shelves and been returned with a surprising amount of care. I’d love it if we could do more of this, like purchase some books in Braille, of which we have a quantity of ZERO, currently. Which is miserable considering the observed percentage hike in life quality for blind children who learn to read it.
    Anywho, sorry for the diatribe, just hits home. It’s hard to imagine that this is happening, even in America, until you see it or hear about it first hand.
    Thanks for giving us an extended deadline to buy the calender also, I have no money right now, but would really like to participate in this, now I can budget this into my next check.

  19. dsharpe02
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    I loved Socks for Supper when I was a kid!

    I’m sure I still have it somewhere in my library, and I just may need to go on a reconnaissance mission when I get home tonight…

  20. hjl
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    So excited to support you in this, Mr. Rothfuss!

    Thanks for all the awesomeness!

    I have twin girls that are just starting to read. Such a wonderful time in their lives!

    The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffles will be a great addition to their library and a step up from Terry Pratchett’s Where’s My Cow?!

  21. Marcus Cox
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    ” I learned that in middle-class homes there are an average of 13 books for every kid.”

    Holy smokes. I haven’t counted them recently but I think my house has about 100 children’s books for each child. This isn’t counting the books on my shelf/Kindle.

    I think I just may need to order one of them there calenders.

    On a unrelated note I got an e-mail from Subterranian press saying my copy of the new Princess and Mr. Whiffle! I’m so excited.

  22. TGoebel
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    Wow! Just WOW! I can’t imagine living in a world with no books.

  23. scottveg3
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    There is another great organization that is bringing books to the masses, world book day. I have done it the last two years and have really enjoyed it. You apply to be a giver and on world book day they send you twenty novels (picked from a rather good list) to give out to non-readers and people who cannot afford books. Just another way to spread the love of reading.

  24. ali rahemtulla
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    This sounds like a great cause. But I have a question for you Pat, how much of the donations they receive go towards helping the kids? Is it on par with Heifer? Is most of it to the actual cause? And so on. I ask simply because I want to know the best charities to give to, and Heifer’s admin costs impressed me greatly. Also, what’s up with the Bible? I could’ve sworn you and the other Rothfi were agnostic/atheist. Or maybe my brain is just inventing weird false memories.

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

      97%

    • Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      The bible is Sarah’s actually. Those bookshelves are in her room.

      That isn’t to say I don’t own a bible. I do. I’ve read it too. When I was younger, I sang in the choir, went to Sunday school. I’ve even administered communion.

      These days I’m agnostic. Which doesn’t mean what most people think it does. It means, literally, “I do not know.”

      But the fact is, Jesus was way cool.

      Was he the son of god? I don’t know.

      Is there a god? I don’t know.

      What about the Amida Buddha? Lord Krishna? Elohim?

      I don’t know. I like looking at these things, and thinking about them.

      Also, the King James is a smashing good read. You can’t love language and not love the King James Bible.

      • ali rahemtulla
        Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

        Oh I agree with you about the Bible in the “smashing good read” sense. It is fantastically well written, too bad that the disciples didn’t write some stories of their own. And yes, Christ (pbuh) was way cool. Also, I’ve never met anyone who’s said that agnosticism is anything else. And yeah, religion is an interesting subject. Two of the most interesting religions I’ve heard about are Zoroastrianism and the Aboriginal beliefs. Sadly though, there isn’t that much info on the Dream time and so on. It’s definitely worth a read though. Who knows, maybe you’ll convert.

  25. redbronze
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Halfprice books based in Dallas has a Childers book donation and my school has given hundreds upon hundreds of books away to kids and classrooms. I keep a few boxes for new teachers and reading nights to give away, as well as giving to kids all the time. Children should have hundred upon hundreds of books to read.

    Thanks for all the wonderful things you do..

  26. Cybeline
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    I know I have no right to say it, since I am a stranger. But. Take care of yourself. Take time out for you and yours. You make a huge difference in the world, and it’s amazing. But take time to not-burn-out, and take time for family, because that bond keeps you strong. It gives you life when you scrape the bottom of the barrel but you can’t stop because there are still kids starving in the other room. Don’t capital-S Stop. Just take a moment, here and there. Good work, and happy holidays.

  27. tess0031
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Just a friendly FYI – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is also a great program that gets out books to kids. Depending on where you live (the program needs sponsors, for us the United Way and local businesses) you can register your preschool child (age 0-5) for a monthly book that’s sent to your door for free. We have great support for this program in our community — so much so that the registration info is passed out to you at the hospital as soon as baby is born with the social security registration :)

  28. Bartb11
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    The thought of all those kids without books in the house makes me want to cry. I’m the seventh child in my family and not only were we blessed to have food on the table, each one of us had books and a musical instrument of our own. There was nothing I loved more than going to the library with my mom. Unless maybe it was the day the teacher handed out the scholastics book order…..we always got to pick out a book to order. I give all the new babies in my family a crocheted blanket (thanks to Gma for that skill) and BOOKS! Calendar order and add’l donation coming up.

  29. jpm2621
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    As someone who grew up without much in the way of bookage (I will make up words if I want to), I appreciate how difficult it can be to learn to love books. That’s right…I had to learn – as an adult – to love books. It was a strange, often forced, relationship at first. But, it blossomed into a full out fatal attraction (I sometimes worry my love of books too closely resembles stockholm syndrome…you see, I learned to love books only after being in close proximity with nothing else to do for long periods of time). That said, I never want anyone to have a relatively book free childhood like I did. This charity sounds great, and I will support it. Thanks Pat.

  30. overscan
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    I have 2 kids, 19 months and 4 years – they have somewhere around 350 books already, though my wife is a former nursery (kindergarten) teacher and she owned some previously. I read them between 1 and 3 books each night, so even with that many, we’ve read them all several times.

    My daughter has access to an iPad, and she likes it, and I read a lot of books on Kindle these days (I’ve had a 3+ books a week reading habit since I was 9 or 10 and live in the arse end of nowhere New Zealand) but it’s vital to get kids interested in reading.

  31. Robo
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    My kid’s bookshelf is bigger than your kid’s bookshelf! Na-na-na-nah-nuh!

    So how do the chocolate frogs taste? Specially, the dark chocolate.

  32. crazybloo3
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    I recently took out wise man’s fear from my bookshelf, and now I think I discovered something. Is Cinders actually Encanis?

  33. uklvrbm
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Pat,

    Sorry for posting this here, but I wasn’t sure where/how to get a question to you by other means. I sent two books and some “swag” your way about a month ago, and wanted to ensure that they made it to you. I just wanted to follow up because I know you are busy, but wanted to make sure.

    My package contained some swag from the bourbon state and a note about the good news I wanted to convey (with your assistance).

    Thanks,
    Brian

  34. Soren
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    When I started the blog, I thought it would be different…
    What I’m going to say now will be shocking for you pat, and everyone that reads this, but… eel, here in Spain there are kids that don’t read anything, but not because of poverty, but because they don’t care.
    THEY DON’T CARE.
    I’m in what you would call “what you do before university”, and since I was 10, I was the strange kid because I read. In my class, with persons of 16 years, how many people read?
    Well, me, and i think two more of 36 persons, an I don’t know if they read a lot.
    AND WE GO TO THE OPTION OF LANGUAGES (there are art, acting, science and languages). With 12, 13 years, the people asked me amazed what I read, and why, because for them there was no option of reading.
    So, although it’s very sad for the kids not to have books to read, at least they don’t hate books. You mitt think I’m joking, but the entire post is true. When I bring a book to read if I have time, they look at me, like what the fuck? Well, most of the class is used to it, but not all.
    At least, it seems that America is not like Spsin, but this is a serious problem, at least in our country, and it seems nobody cares. That’s even worse.
    Sorry pat, for making your day probably not as lighter.
    … I don’t even know why I wrote this. Maybe for starting a (thing that you do explaining your points, I don’t remember the word)?

  35. Thea
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Our local book store has a “book exchange” charity they do during the holidays. Like Toys for Tots, you pick a card that details the age, gender, and interests of a child that wants a book for Christmas. You get 15% off the price of one or more books, and that kid gets a surprise under the Christmas tree.

    We have a 3.5 year old son who loves anything to do with trains, so this year, we picked the card for a 3.5 year old boy who also loves anything to do with trains. We can afford books for our son, other parents can not. How could we not buy this kid a couple books, the same ones our boy loves so much?

    Thanks for bringing light to this, I already wanted one of those calendars, but this will make me feel even better for putting it on my Xmas list. :)

  36. Dianadomino
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    As a child, I had a total of three books. Those were all the books in the house, except for a few my mom had, and a vintage dictionary. I hoarded books my whole childhood, because contrary to rumor, kids can grow up in a household of non-readers and still learn to love the written word. When I left home at age 18 and moved into my own apartment, I think I owned a total of 8 or 10 books. And the collection has only grown through the years. I have so many thousands of books, I regularly go through them and donate some, but there will always be favorites I can never let go. Luckily for my husband, an indifferent reader (yes, I married outside my tribe), I got an e-reader and have started collecting books on it instead. Also, a flood took out a number of books a few years ago. :/ Because I love books and love reading, I wanted to set you straight. Not all book lovers come from parents who love books. Some are self-taught. ^_^

  37. Hadessniper
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    I just wanted to let you know that my grandmother, Lorna Balian, wrote and illustrated Humbug Witch, and to know that it’s touched your family ehough to be remembered years later means a lot to me, as a huge fan of yours, and my grandmother, as a children’s book author. Seeing it on your blog made my day!

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