Happy International Literacy Day

In 1966, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the 8th of September to be International Literacy Day: one day out of the year to call attention to the state of literacy and adult learning around the world.  UNESCO also takes this day toward the Confucius and King Sejong literacy prizes to governments or NGOs that contribute to the promotion of literacy.

You may ask: “Why literacy?” From unesco.org:

“Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.”

We couldn’t agree more.

A quick glance at the 2011 numbers shows the challenges before us.  793 million adults are illiterate worldwide; 67.4 million children are not enrolled in school.

However, we’d like to answer those statistics with a few of our own.  Since its founding, Better World Books has raised over $10 million in funding for literacy and donated over 5 million books, with the help of our non-profit literacy partners and a multitude of heroic individuals we’re proud to have as customers.

Numbers like that are a good sign, one that means there are plenty of others out there who care about teaching the world to read.  It shows that this movement means business.  Who would have ever imagined that doing real-life good in the world could be as easy as buying books?

So to celebrate International Literacy Day 2011, we’re offering 20% off 3 or more used books from a huge selection — nay, a big honkin’ selection — that we put together for your enjoyment.  (And anyone you know who likes big honkin’ selections.)  As always, for every book you buy at our site, we donate a book to someone in need; and every purchase you make at our site funds literacy projects by way of our non-profit partners.

Happy International Literacy Day!

Edit:  The International Literacy Day sale has been extended… now the last day for the sale will be Wednesday, September 21st.


  1. Hi! When does the Literacy Day Sale end?


  2. The sale goes until Thursday night.

    To get overly specific, that’s September 15th, at 11:59:59 PM Pacific Standard Time. Enjoy!

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