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….
(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.
(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.
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.
(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.
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.
And money will go to Worldbuilders, too.
There’s really no downside here.
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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….
- Chocolate Frogs from the Harry Potter Alliance.
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.
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.
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Thanks for tuning in folks, and thanks for helping to spread the word….