Friday, March 11, 2011

It's raining books!

by Pam Withers

I have two baskets in my home office. One is filled with books for our book reviewers to review, and they stop by periodically to sort through and choose which they’ll write about. (I never offer my opinion, because as a young adult author, I consider that a conflict of interest; I know so many of the authors!)
      My other basket is filled with books destined for reading programs around North America – donations from authors and publishers. Those from authors are even autographed, a lovely surprise for the youths who receive them. This is part of what Keenreaders is all about: not just providing information and features on our website, but also donating books to needy reading programs around North America.
      What I never anticipated is that this particular basket would overflow to the point I’m thinking I need a locker, or maybe I even need to back my car out of the garage and let the donation books take over there! I simply can’t ship them out as fast as they’re arriving. Reading-buddy programs aren’t discovering us as fast as generous authors and publishers are.
      Tony, my co-founder, has the same two baskets in his home in Seattle. (I hope his new wife doesn’t mind!). They’re slightly less full, because American authors and publishers have been slower to discover us than Canadians. (Hmm, is that because Tony was on his honeymoon while I was notifying Canadian authors and publishers, and he’s just catching up with his American notifications now?!)
      In any case, I’m now proactively contacting reading programs around the continent telling them we have books if they need them. If you know of any, by all means tell them about our program. No strings attached. We donate books (from picture books to young adult books) to reading-buddy programs in schools, community centers, religious institutions and other places that need them. They just have to ask.
      We’ll give until we run out. But that won’t be anytime soon, especially since Orca Books ( alone has just donated 100 books. I repeat, 100 books!
      Did I mention that it’s raining books and soon I won’t be able to move around in my home office? Thank you, Author and Publisher Heroes, all of them listed on our website: and