Better World Books Quarterly Newsletter


In This Issue

Helpful Links

Dear Library,

Welcome to the Better World Books Library Newsletter! Spring has sprung and what better way to start of the season than with our newsletter? Well, okay, I'm sure there are better ways, but just humor us. In this issue you will get updated information about our Library Discards & Donations Program, upcoming events and noteworthy announcements. You'll also be able to enjoy your favorite articles like "Meet the Team" and "What We're Reading. "  In addition, we will announce the winner of our National Library Week Contest and introduce the first book published by Better World Books. Thanks for reading and thank you for your continued interest in Better World Books. Enjoy!

Program Announcements
What's New?
tall book stack

We are happy to announce the newly refreshed!  Come see our new look and be sure to check out our Online Sidewalk Sales.

As always, thanks to all of those who are utilizing our new PreScreen Program.  It is a great tool to determine what books are good to send to Better World Books.  If you do not currently have access to the PreScreen Program or would like to find out more, please contact your Account Representative or email us at

Also as a reminder, we are unable to accept books that are dirty, moldy, water damaged, binding damaged, missing covers or pages, have excessive writing, markings, or highlighting, cut out library treatments, or soft-cover books warped from gaylord storage or shipping.

For the complete list, visit

National Library Week Contest
And the winner is...

Congratulations to Kathy Woodside at Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, ME. for winning a $50 Gift Certificate!  Check out how this library celebrated the 50th anniversary of National Library Week! Thanks Kathy!

"Hi! We wanted to do something for our patrons during National Library Week so we have advertised Amnesty Week on all library fines for overdue items. By doing this everyone wins! Patrons can return overdue questions asked without having to worry about the expense and the library sees the return of some items that have been missing in action for a very long time. In addition to Amnesty Week we have created a display of some of our staff's favorite titles! We came up with a pretty eclectic mix which would be of interest to many of our patrons! It's no secret that most librarians are avid readers...but now folks get the inside scoop on what we are reading! How cool is that! "

Most Sincerely,
Kathy Woodside

Thank you to all of those who entered submissions. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to your local library.

Last Quarter Highlights
What's Hot

Top 5 Sales in Q1: Third Party Market Places

Online Marketplace
Client's State
Plastic Surgery (8 Volume Set)
McCarthy, Joseph G.    
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance 
Peter Newman
Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, Four-Volume Set
Andrew Prentice,
Benjamin Caballero
Barnes and Noble
Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine
Augustus A White,
Manohar M. Panjabi
Dictionary of the Middle Ages (13 Volume Set)

Top 5 Sales in Q1: ARC Material
Online Marketplace
Client's State
Abebooks NY
Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century Now in The British Museum; Parts I-IX ( 12 Books)
[The Trustees of the British Museum]
Dizionario dell'architettura del XX secolo (Archivi do architettura) [SIX VOL. SET]
Carlo Olmo
The Temples of Kawa [Volume I-The Inscriptions, Texts and Plates
Macadam, M.F. Laming
Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits [Complete in Six Volumes]
Systema Helminthum [Five Volume Set. 5 Vols. In 7 Parts]
Satyu Yamaguti

Top 5 Sales in Q1:
Online Marketplace
Client's State
$943.48 VA
Records of the Moravians in North Carolina [Volumes 1-11]
Adelaide L. Fries, Ed.
Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963 [Volumes II-VII, missing Volume I]
James, Robert Rhodes
$645.48 PA
Le Beyan Persan [4 Volume Set]
Seyyed Ali Mohammed (A.L.M Nicolas)
The Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances- Volumes I thru VII w/ Index
Sommer, H.Oskar
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians: 20 Volume Set- All 20 VolumesStanley Sadie, Editor


I know what you are probably wondering: "Jazz-what?"  Well, continue reading and I assure you it will all make sense in a moment.
In perfect timing for what should prove to be a vibrant and perhaps contentious political year, a provocative young writer has entered the arena of political commentary through his debut title, Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology . As a former political campaign consultant for Senator John Kerry and jazz bassist touring with Wynton Marsalis, Kabir Sehgal looks at the evolution of jazz and its ability to form the mythologies guiding the American process. Through his captivating and melodic writing style, Kabir paints a musical picture of the democratic process, seeing it played before us as musicians "trading fours" and exploring music within a grid of artistic checks and balances.

Kabir opens by talking about the framework of jazz, comparing it to the emerging cityscape of New York.  He then builds on his premise through jazz history, taking the reader up to where musicians became the literal embodiment of American democracy. It's a fascinating journey through one of the largest ever funded cultural projects.  Premier jazz musicians were flown to places beyond the Iron Curtain and throughout the Third World in an effort to promulgate ideals of democracy. Interestingly, the musicians themselves presented a complex, often deeply flawed view of democracy. After the Little Rock lockout, for example, Louis Armstrong canceled his trip to the Soviet Union. Several times, Duke Ellington's musicians would sneak off for impromptu concerts in neighborhoods deemed too unimportant by our own government.

Sehgal Jazz challenged and brought to the cultural forefront the deeply felt consciousness of a people. But taken even further, jazz uniquely captured our own democratic ideals of dissent, equality, community, and debate. Kabir heralds these qualities, showing us that our system of political exchange is working and will continue to work as long as we realize the strength inherent in the system. Through the metaphor of jazz, Kabir shows us that America can redefine itself in the new millennium. He explains to us that jazz is an art form that mirrors to our own deeply held ideals of free thought and mutual exchange. More than merely a lens from which to watch this year's political campaign, it's a call to join the band.

Jazzocracy is the first book from the new imprint from Better World Books. To build on its commitment towards raising funds for literacy programs around the world, BWB is publishing its own books intended to make a difference locally and internationally. Ten percent of proceeds from Kabir's book will go towards rebuilding the New Orleans Public Library system and to support the Bring the Music Back foundation, a non-profit enterprise working to bring musicians back to New Orleans.

Purchase your copy on Use discount code D&D_2008 to receive 10% off of your entire purchase!

What We're Reading
Buy USED & NEW Books at

After many months of trying, unsuccessfully might I add, to get this book from my local library; I finally buckled and purchased it. And I am so glad I did since, due to the 976 pages of this book, I would have never finished it within the time frame that my local Library gives. I also would not want to give this book up! Ken Follet's: The Pillars of the Earth is a compelling novel, set in 12th century England during the time known as The Anarchy. Although fictional, this book gives a very real look into the lives of its character's experiences in true love, passion and revenge.

Purchase your new or used copy on Use discount code D&D_2008 to receive 10% off of your entire purchase! Happy Reading!

                                                                       ~ K. Emery

Library Spotlight
University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh

If pressed to say who is the #1 library client in the Library Discards & Donations Program, one could take into consideration a multitude of variables, i.e.:  Which library has saved the most books from ending up in a landfill?  Which library has created the most funding for literacy?  Which library sorts with the most care and attention to our acceptance guidelines?  Well I decided to consult the suffix system we use to order our library clients as they sign up and discovered that one of the very first library clients is.........drum......roll......please...... the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh!

The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh was one of the 1st clients to sign up for our Library Pic program and since then we have partnered with over 900 other libraries.  Talk about being a trend-setter?  There are a total of 17 libraries in their system that hold over 5 million volumes between them.  Serving over 35,000 students they will record over half a million transactions in just one year!

We at Better World Books greatly appreciate the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh for kick starting our program and being a strong reference to build on.  Now let's hear from Anne Koenig in Collection Services:

"The program enables us to benefit literacy programs, raise money for collection development, and safeguard the environment by recycling unwanted books. It truly is a 'win/win' situation. Many of our book donors are happy to know we have a partnership with your organization, and everyone feels great helping to promote literacy.

We love your program because all we need to do is sort the books and pack them up.  You take care of all the rest; things can't get much easier than that.  Thank you!"  

And thank you too!  

Rudy's Corner
The Random Ramblings of an Antiquarian Bibliophile: A Pilgrim's Progress

A few years ago, in the midst of my doctoral studies, I had the privilege of joining with a professor of early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame to teach a course on pilgrimage. One of the central tenants of our exploration of this religious phenomenon was an old adage: "Often, it is not so much the destination, but the journey of getting there." Each year, for example, tens of thousands come and go from the Way of Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Some travel the entire length of the Way, and others only a few miles. Many will never see the great Cathedral, but it is, in the end, about the journey. I was reminded of this a week or so ago when one of the bibliographers in our Antiquarian, Rare, and Collectable Books section shared with me a tattered blue volume bearing the name of Aldous Huxley.
In my hands I held a first U.S. edition, first printing (stated G-T) of Time Must Have a Stop, Huxley's 1944 dystopia. Huxley is, of course, more widely known as the author of Brave New World, the first of a series of rather famous novels which would appear in the mid-20th century, depicting the future downfall of society. It would be followed by Orwell's 1984 in 1949 and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in 1953. It is fairly unremarkable as far as first editions go; it is one of Huxley's later works and is in less than mint condition. Nevertheless, this volume has captivated my attention for the last few days.

As I began to thumb through it, I discovered a number of ephemeron between the leaves: a New York Times clipping of a 'study' of James Joyce dated 22 December 1957, the front and rear flaps of the missing dust jacket, and pages 509-512 of C. Rolo's omnibus of Huxley's work, The World of Aldous Huxley . Perhaps most interesting, though, is a post card addressed to one J. Richard Stafford of Elyria, Ohio, from none other than Aldous Huxley. "Thank you," Huxley writes in his own hand, "for your friendly letter. I can't answer your Questions [sic.] about Pound, as I know too little of his work. Aldous Huxley." The stationery bears the name of Aldous L. Huxley, Wrightwood, California. Huxley has marked through Wrightwood and written above it: "3276 Deronda, LA 28" (now 90068 - theres a neat 'street view' on Google™ Maps).

HuxleyI cannot describe how captivating I found this volume. I began to examine each page of the volume, looking for notes, doodles, anything to tell me more about this Mr. Stafford. Was he a familiar of Huxley's? of Pound's? Was he a scholar? Was he simply drawing parallels between the work of the two men? Alas, I have found nothing, though not for lack of trying. The postmark of the card is not completely visible; I can only make out December. The rate for a postcard, however, was 2-cents, so it was likely after January 1952 when that new rate took effect (it had been 1-cent since 1898!). There is, at present, a home at the address to which Huxley addressed the card, but I have not been able to reach anyone there, though it is not as if estates were retained in families as in days gone by. But, I digress. Enough!

This short journey of mine to explore the life-history of this particular book - its various relics and hagiography - and its presumed owner, Mr. Stafford, as well as the latter's relationship with Huxley, has consumed my days of late. It is as if this particular volume is on its own pilgrimage, from owner to owner, from shelf to shelf, giving witness not only to itself but to those with whom it has come into contact. I, on the other hand, am more like a spectator than a pilgrim. Yet, without we spectators, who were somehow foreseen like Waugh's builders of Brideshead , these pilgrims would fall victim to a fate too horrible to imagine. It is their journey that we share and, in doing so, share in those of one another. I am happy to have been along its way and to have shared in its journey.

Meet the Library Team
Say Hello To...
Erin Pic

My name is Erin Gerber and I've been in love with reading most of my life.  My affection for the written world eventually translated to a career in libraries-there's just something about being surrounded by books that is particularly appealing to me.  My first library gig was as in college, followed by three more library jobs, including five years in Access Services at an academic library.  Like you, I've made numerous book recommendations, showed patrons how to search the library catalog, and taught them how read a call number (Dewey and LC).  I've handled my fair share of off beat reference questions and listened sympathetically to every conceivable excuse as to why a patron's fines should be waived.  I'm also very well aware of the challenge libraries face when it comes to their discards and donations.  I feel especially lucky to be a part of the Acquisitions team at Better World Books because I know that by offering libraries a socially and environmentally responsible outlet for their surplus books we're offering them a solution they can use!

Say hello at

Coming Soon & Noteworthy
Check it Out!

We thought last year was exciting but it's only getting better! Check out how Better World Books raised $4.5M in outside equity! Now that's Good Capital!

You can also check us out our latest Press Release on regarding our continuous fundraising efforts at The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire (

Important Dates

Other Notable Dates:
  • Memorial Day: May 26, 2008 - Libraries will be closed. There will be no UPS pick-ups or deliveries on this day.
  • Independence Day: July 4, 2008 - Libraries will be closed. There will be no UPS pick-ups or deliveries on this day.

We hope you enjoyed this installment of our newsletter.  We encourage you to forward this newsletter to any of your colleagues that may be interested in learning more about the Better World Books Library Discards & Donations Program.  Also, remember to shop at for all your book purchases .  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next installment of the newsletter.

Best regards,

Library Team
Better World Books

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Better World Books
Library Division
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Phone: 800.894.0242 ext 773