Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Paying it forward ... with books!

I love the movie Pay it Forward. Not just for the qualities of production—the final scene makes me weep—but for the very concept of paying it forward.

I buy (then read) a fair amount of books. And hard copy paper books as opposed to e-books (1). But when I have finished reading them I know chances are they will then sit on my shelf unread. Which is a shame because they should be read. I tried donating them to the ACT Prison network but my emails to relevant people went unanswered. I even tried seeing if there was a 'help English-speaking prisoners with free books' effort I could mail them to, but, well I couldn't find one. And even if you purchase a book brand new the ACT Library system doesn't take donations.

So what to do? Then I decided, I would pay it forward ... amongst my friends. Most of my friends are white-collar types. Furthermore with many of them being pen and paper gamers then they have similar interests to me—for example they read histories or sociological studies.

Thus it was with reasonable expectation that I bundled up ten or so of my recently acquired-then-read books and took them along to a nerd night to give them away. The only proviso I made was to, when they were finished with them, to then pass them on to someone else who might find them interesting.

It worked well, I think. Most of the books were taken up. Then, months later, I was at another nerd night when I saw some of the books then being handed on to someone else.

I had a warm glow inside. And this time it wasn't just from the swirl of fecal gases churning away in my non-standard guts!

(1) Though I am planning on getting a slate (slash) tablet for the Fucking Catalina Wine Mixer so I am guessing I will be going the e-book route shortly.


  1. Nice idea!

  2. I hope so. Next time I do it I will use my heat-powered super sticker maker to make a bunch of Pay it Forward stickers for the inside cover with the instruction of Pay it Forward and perhaps my email address to see how far it goes...


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