Discovering the Value of Us

For the next ten weeks, my more than 200 co-workers and I will be celebrating the very best of one another through each of Better World Books’ core values.


  1. We ♥ Books. Respect the book. Read often and help others to do the same.
  2. Flabbergast our Customers. Seek out opportunities to make a difference with value, service, and selection.
  3. Invest well. Waste not. Choose wisely; consider the return on your efforts and the impact in your actions. Reuse, reuse, reuse… Then reduce and recycle.
  4. Lead the movement. Take a stand; share your enthusiasm and build momentum through human connections.
  5. Speak through action. Put your ideas to work; play to win but never fear failure.
  6. Be passionate. Wear your heart on your sleeve; stand up for what your believe.
  7. Pursue growth through learning. Challenge yourself; make a point to try new things.
  8. Be genuine. Keep it real; be honest with others and true to your quirktastic self.
  9. Embrace change. Adapt to circumstances; help others find ways to succeed in our evolving world.
  10. Respect our team. Be humble; welcome diversity and recognize that shared success is the only kind that matters.

To get things started, the Antiquarian, Rare, and Collectible Books Team performed an original composition by cataloguer Carol Devorkin entitled “I Am ARC”…

a story told from the perspective of the many books we are privileged to handle each and every day. I thought that I’d share it with the extended BWB Family and invite you to join us in ♥ing books.




Walk my aisles

See what I am.


I was born 100, 200, even 300 years ago.

From lands near, and lands far away.


I came from Paris, London, and Berlin…

I came from the East and the West.

New York, Chicago, San Francisco.

The North and the South,

The Arctic and the tropics.


Craftsmen shaped me

With hand made papers and stitched bindings.

I am robed in cloth and leather.

I may be tattered and torn

But I am true to my word.


Other hands have held me

Touching my every page

Other eyes have read my every word.


Presently, I am here

Waiting for the time to tell my story again.


I have seen crusades and coronations,

And I have known heroes and fools.

Wonder and awe, good, and evil.


I’ve traveled by boat, train, and plane.

A horse took me through the Grand Canyon

Rocket ships took me to the moon and the stars


I’ve roamed the earth where dinosaurs and Neanderthals lives,

And I have theories on evolution, science, and space.


I know where Moses, Jesus, and Buddha walked

And what they said.


I’ve traveled through deserts, sailed the oceans.

Climbed Mount Everest, crossed the mighty Mississippi.

I’ve survived the Great Chicago Fire and the sinking of the Titanic.


I came to America on a slave ship

Lived on a plantation, and had a master.

Or, I was the master.


I fought with Union Blue and Confederate Grey

I was there when Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address

And when he was shot.


I stood at the Alamo.

I watched the Indians walk the Trail of Tears.


I came to Ellis Island

To begin a new life

To escape the Holocaust.


I Rushed for Gold and suffered the Great Depression.

I built the railroad and the Brooklyn Bridge.


I am a letter from the Birmingham jail.

I am Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks.


I went to war-

In Europe, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf.


Call me Pancho Villa, Che Guevara, Teddy Roosevelt.

Call me Mr. President, Madame Curie, or Albert Einstein.

Mozart, Beethoven.

Shelley or Poe.


I am good people, and I am bad,

I have saved lives, taken lives.

You will love me or hate me

But you will know who I am and what I stand for.


I am Mother Nature.

Let me show you my creations.

Bears and lions, puppies and ducks.

Trees, flowers, rocks and soils.


I guide Doctors and lawyers, showing them what I have learned.

I have met people famous and infamous

Been places few have seen.

I build cars and rockets, fuels, and fabrics.


I have documented the past, sometimes accurately, sometimes with jaundice.

I am recording the present, and mapping the future.


Here I am, come see me.

Treat me gently so that I may continue to tell my story

For generations to come.


– Carol Devorkin

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