Monday, December 01, 2008

Better World Books

This holiday season, I would like to promote an online retailer with a positive message about the role a company can take in the world: Better World Books. I think it's a good idea to support the competitors of huge monopolies like Amazon and more importantly, companies like Better World which embody a shift in corporate values. Better World Books immerse themselves in the community they serve by supporting libraries, colleges and literacy programs around the world while striving to offset the environmental impact of their operations. It is a for-profit enterprise that sells new and used books and donates part of the profit to charities; they also promote literacy around the world. You can click here to read about their three bottom lines.

Like Amazon, Better World Books has a website that's attractive and easy to navigate. Consumers can choose between new or used books (if available in a particular title) as well as compare prices across online booksellers. But most importantly, it's a socially conscious company and this is a paradigm shift worth supporting. Through the site’s “online sidewalk sale” it’s possible to connect with, for example, The New York Public Library and buy a book they can’t keep on their shelves. The money spent helps the library support its mission.

I hope this season, with all its problems and hope for more socially and environmentally conscious ways to navigate transactions, inspires you to try a company like Better World and others like it.