Because books should be discovered, not destroyed.
Our company was launched based on the fundamental belief that used books have value and should never go to waste. Prior to our founding, many of our staff worked in the thrift industry where we saw millions of books being sent to landfills each year. With each discarded book, we thought of the imagination, magic, and knowledge lost forever to a garbage heap and we endeavored to find a better way.
We think books should achieve their greatest possible purpose: Whether purchased by another reader, donated to help a child acquire the lifelong skill of literacy, or recycled as a new product, it has a story to tell. We let stories live on.
A self-funded cycle of sustainment.
Discover Books was among the first of its kind to harness the potential of the used book market to redistribute used books to local communities and on a national scale. The books deposited in our collection-boxes are sold online to be read again or donated to literacy-based or community service organizations greatly in need of free reading materials. When books cannot be sold or donated, we recycle them to become another useful consumer good.
Though we are one of the largest sources of book donations to charitable organizations in North America, we are completely self-funded through our online operations and accept no public funding in support of our philanthropic, literacy donation endeavors.
Contributions to communities.
Based on our logistics expertise and leadership in the online world, we’re often called on by libraries and library support groups to assist in creating a more financially sustainable model of operations. We provide support for inventory management, and create new sources of funding for libraries and library fundraising groups through revenue-sharing opportunities.
Other models of book collection exist, but we believe ours to be unique in its ability to achieve the greatest sustained overall impact. Our approach enables the collection and processing of millions of pounds of used books, diverting used books from landfills and allowing us to donate millions of books to children and families in need. Our success as an online used bookseller funds our significant book donation efforts; we accept no public funding in support of our philanthropic endeavors. Other approaches are smaller in scale, rely on insecure public funding to cover the cost of book donations, and lack a robust sorting and distribution capability, allowing unnecessary waste to make it through the system.
We can remember the pride and excitement we felt when we donated our first 100,000 books to literacy-focused and community-based charitable causes. Today through direct donations or via our partnerships with non-profit organizations worldwide, we have donated millions of books to give children and adults a better chance at achieving success. We are proud to support literacy efforts in communities by providing high-quality books to children families, schools, libraries and others in need – and we’d like to do more.