The Power of Literacy

literacyday-blogAs you undoubtedly know, we are all about literacy here at Better World Books.   But you might ask, why literacy? And what does it mean to promote literacy?  That’s why we thought in honor of International Literacy Day we’d share our views on why literacy is so important to us and to the world.

Those of us who can read and write sometimes take that ability for granted, but think of all the things you couldn’t do without those skills, from navigating your way in a new area to knowing what medication to take to being able to understand and communicate with the world around you.

Being literate is not just about the ability to read a story and enjoy good books, it is about being empowered.  United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said it best:  “Literacy is not just about reading and writing; it is about respect, opportunity and development”.

There is a correlation between literacy and poverty. This is why empowerment through literacy is so important. Literacy presents new opportunities and brings the marginalized onto equal footing enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty. Literacy is foundational to education which in turn is foundational to development.

To celebrate International Literacy Day, we’re discounting all used books in our warehouse 15%.  As always, you’ll be helping one of our amazing non-profit literacy partners with every purchase.   (Note — that means used books from our warehouse, not from the Marketplace.)

Just use this code at checkout:    4LITERACY
One Day Only – Good on Sept. 8, 2009!


  1. I wanted to take advantage of your 15% discount on this day only, but forgot to enter 4LITERACY when I checked out:>( I suppose it’s too late now??

  2. Linda Harmon says:

    I have been trying to buy a book but you keep declining my credit card and I don’t know why. And when I try to email thru the help email it keeps telling me the email is declined and I can not find a phone number to call. I too wanted to take advantage of the 4LITERACY discount, but….

  3. RobinHelene Carlton says:

    I found your company while shopping on; I was looking for used books for the planet’s sake. Your service and products were so positive, that I specifically looked you up for my next order. I could not resist either the free shipping AND THEN I read about your programs to promote literacy! Now, I go to you first for my reading needs. Thank you so much for everything you do and provide not just to us, but also to the world. It’s great to think I’m helping, too.

  4. Marco Severo says:

    People at BetterWorld –

    Unfortunately, I can’t afford buying many books myself (even though I’d love to, because reading is my biggest pleasure. But making a living here in Brazil is not something easy), but I’ve bought books with you everytime I can.

    I have to say that I haven’t found one project (I just can’t call you “company” because that’s so not how it feels to me) like this in my whole life that has added me so much as a person. The emails full of sense of humor, witty, and at the same time, serious and, like the message now, thought-provoking.

    You are the best, people. Please keep this wonderful Project going strong. I’m sure you guys and girls out there will be rewarded in more ways you can ever imagine.

    Love all the way from Brazil!

  5. What a great company! I featured your site on my blog today:

    Keep up the great work!

  6. J J Brandon Tim says:

    Why can’t i apply the coupon for the used books in marketplace?

  7. Olga Red-Sky Flournoy says:

    I began reading around the age of 19. I am from the Mescalero Apache and Raramuri tribes of First American Nations. I did not know you existed until recently. I made a sacred vow, when I learned to read as an adult, that I would read “something” every day of my life. I am in a
    baccalaureate program now. How can I be part of this project? Red-Sky

  8. Pingback: International Literacy Day: A Celelebration of Literacy | Angela Maiers, Speaker, Educator, Writer

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