Archive for the ‘Public good’ Category

A Day of Service (book related)

January 19, 2016

A Day of Service (book related)

As I write this, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day where I am on the West Coast of the USA.

It’s a relatively new holiday at the Federal level…this is the thirtieth anniversary of its observation.

As such, there aren’t a lot of traditions around it. There are sales, and some people have the day off work.

Where I work, as well as a lot of places, this is a “Day of Service”. I was working today, but many of my co-workers will have spent the day volunteering or doing other types of community service. Here’s a

Voice of America article by Alberto Pimiento

about that part of it.

In case you’ve ever wondered what you can do to help others which is book/Kindle related, I thought I’d make a few suggestions.

Read a book for Librivox

Volunteers (no special training needed) record reading public domain (not under copyright protection) books out loud. Those recordings are then made available for free.

You only need to do a chapter at a time, but you can read a whole book if you want.

This isn’t easy, but it is highly impactful!

There are other ways to volunteer at Librivox, if the reading doesn’t seem like something you’d like to do.

Story Time at your public library

Your local public library may be happy to have you come in and read to the kids!

I know people have also give demonstrations of using an EBR (E-Book Reader) at libraries…if you are comfortable you could volunteer to do that.

Be a Distributed Proofreader for Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is one of the great cultural organizations. They digitize public domain book and make them available for free.

If you read public domain books (I do) on your Kindle/Fire, they most likely initially came from Project Gutenberg.

One way that people can help is to proofread a file after it has been digitized.

You get a page of the digitized version, and a scan of the original page. Then, you compare them and give notes.

You can volunteer for that here:

Projects through Volunteer Match

Volunteer Match will find opportunities for you (and you can also list opportunities).

I just looked for “books” in Chicago (I don’t live there, I just sort of picked it at random), and got six choices…with some very cool options!

These results were all done in person, but the site will also find “virtual” opportunities, which you can do from home…I found 84 opportunities in the Education & Literacy category:

Looking at it, I do have to say that “virtual” isn’t entirely accurate…some, such as driving a bookvan, were limited to certain locations.

In addition to personal time, there are a number of ways you can donate.

Perhaps you have largely switched to e-books, and have p-books (paperbooks) you can donate. One way t do that would be to set up a

Little Free Library

I’ve written about those before, and I have seen them (and left a book). It’s a little outdoor structure where people can take books you (or other people) have left, and can leave their own.

You can usually donate your books to the public library, where they will commonly sell them at a book sale to raise funds.

You could donate an older Kindle/Fire you have.

You could buy a new Kindle or Fire and donate it…I’ve done that. It’s less expensive than it used to be:

You can shop at

😉 For every $100 you spend on eligible items at Smile.Amazon, the e-tailer will donate half a percent to a non-profit of your choice. There are many, many book-related charities there.

Those are a few ideas; if you have others, just have other ideas, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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