Readers Giving Back

Staring at my makeshift library, anyone would realize I have more than enough books for one person. But I can’t help collecting them, loving them, petting them. They are my babies. Though I don’t always have adequate time to spend with each and every one. So after one of my writer friends, Lindsay Cummings, mentioned that she sometimes donates her YA books to a children’s hospital, I decided it was time for me to stop being so darn greedy and spread the (book) wealth.

A quick Google showed plenty of organizations in Dallas that’d be more than happy to accept donations of any type. I chose a local orphanage and sent a quick email to the contact there. With a stack of dusty books nearby, I told him I had some loot for his teen residents. He asked me to “Come on over.” Without thinking much more about it, I drove to the orphanage and dumped a suitcase full of YA novels onto the counter.

“That’s a lot of books,” the front desk guy said.

“I was told I could bring as many as I wanted,” I responded.

“No, it’s fine,” he clarified. “We just don’t get book donations for our older kids. They’re always for the little ones.” He looked me in the eye. “They’re going to go crazy for these things.”

You’d think after hearing this, my heart would be full. That I’d sing a Beyonce song all the way home and call my mom to let her know how awesome I am. But those things didn’t happen. Because I was too busy feeling like ass. I could have brought more, I thought. I could have brought books from my good stash.

Sometimes I think we shy away from being charitable not because it’s inconvenient, or because we don’t want to give away our things, but because we’ll be reminded of just how much we could be doing. Of how many people there are in the world less fortunate than us. But, despite how surprisingly hard it is, I have challenged myself to return to the orphanage within the next 30 days with more (and better) YA books. My question for you today is:

What do you do that’s charitable? Or, what do you plan to do? I know we’re taught not to boast about giving back, but sometimes I think staying quite means not reminding people that we can do good for others.

Hey readers/writers of the world, what can YOU do with your old books? 🙂