Come visit our "Bookstore with a Purpose" in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. It is located at 1417 22nd Street, NW - near the corner of 22nd & P (a couple doors down from Soho Coffee and across the street from the gas station). The name of the establishment is simply "Books for America". We opened just before Thanksgiving in 2005.
Is it just a used book store? Hardly. This store (or Center for Reading & Literacy as we also like to call it) is the headquarters of our nonprofit organization; it is an outreach tool to introduce us to thousands of additional people in the local community; and it is a valuable fundraising tool which provides nearly 100% of our financial support. And, best of all, because we price the books almost ridiculously low, everyone can afford to buy the latest books!
Our hope is this - you will come to the Center with arms full of books, movies, CDs and more to donate to Books for America. You will leave with that ecstatic feeling you get when you just found a place to purchase an incredible assortment of books at almost ridiculously low prices. Best yet, you will know that 100% of the proceeds from your purchases (and book donations) are supporting a very effective local charity. While you are here you will also learn about our library building and literacy programs and perhaps you will become a volunteer with us or with one of our literacy partners.
We are a perfect example of Social Entrepreneurship. Simply put, we try to raise enough money by selling books to support a large percentage of our operations rather than completely depend on grants and other financial contributions and sponsorships. These are welcome and essential of course - the more funding we receive, the faster we can grow.
The math is quite simple. The more books donated to us, the more books we can in turn distribute to needy organizations in the Washington, DC area. And, the more books we sell, the more resources we have to expand our book collection and distribution efforts. It works quite well.
So please, come on by the Center. Bring lots of books to donate. Buy an armful of books and enjoy them. Repeat this process often. No worries, you do not have to donate books in order to visit the store and buy some.
Cheers, and we hope to see you soon.
Steve Hersey Founder & President
P.S. Here is a bit more information about our book sales:
All proceeds raised from the sales support the operations of Books for America. Funds raised from book sales are vital to our growth and will allow us to expand the reach and effectiveness of our highly successful library-building and literacy-support programs. Of the books and other items that are donated to Books for America, we keep the most appropriate ones for distribution to our recipient organizations.
We occasionally receive donations of rare or otherwise collectible books. These are sold at auction with the proceeds funding our programs. We greatly appreciate donations of rare or collectible books (or any other such items) - they help keep our book van on the road and our warehouse doors open!