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Make a better world

Fancy being a superhero and saving the whole damned planet? Well, you can. It turns out all that nonsense about mutation or irradiated spiders wasn’t at all necessary. All you have to do is simply buy a book.
Better World Books
Better World Books is a US-based online bookseller founded by college students who decided to start a business with the unusual goal of being socially responsible and making a better world. Better World Books does this by selling books and using the profits to fund literacy programmes worldwide.

If that wasn’t noble enough, Better World Books is also a launch partner for, an organisation that helps offset carbon emissions. Remember, kids, don’t be an enemy of Earth; stop global wanging.
Stop global wanging
(Image source.)

Another remarkable thing about Better World Books is the international shipping costs: a flat USD2.97. That’s not a typo. That’s RM9.50, which is a ridiculously low amount for shipping something from the US to Malaysia. How they manage it is a mystery. What I can tell is the two orders I’ve made over the past two months have been shipped by way of Sweden with instructions to return the books there if undelivered. My guess is the low shipping has something to do with some Swedish initiative. The specifics elude me.

So, the upsides for a book reader is you get a book delivered cheaply, help reduce or offset carbon emissions and indirectly fund literacy programmes.

There are a couple of downsides.

The book selection isn’t going to be as great as Amazon and the prices for new books aren’t going to be as low. The other potential issue is books delivered internationally aren’t packed especially well. The two orders I’ve made were shipped in simple padded envelopes and both books had slight dents here and there by the time they reached me. If you’re a fussy book collector, this might be a problem.

But in the grand scheme of things, a slightly higher price or a few dents shouldn’t matter. C’mon, saving the planet here, dude.

On a more sober note, a cynic might suspect this is an organisation that takes advantage of people’s selfless sides by using noble, lofty goals as a mask for simple profit-mongering. That cynic should take a look at Better World Books’ impressive list of achievements.

Overall, this is a fantastic service and one I’m happy to both use and recommend. So, go on, make a better world. Buy a book.

Posted in Books.

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