The Faces of a Better World

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” Tennessee Williams once said.In that spirit, one of my favorite ways to spend a sunny day is by walking around local neighborhoods and taking photos of strangers.

I ask them for permission, of course, and will only take their photo if they are willing to share their face and their story with the world.

As most of you know, I am passionate about my job at Better World Books and sincerely believe in our work and mission. One of my dreams for 2012 is for every single book-lover, tree-hugger and do-gooder on Earth to know about Better World Books – to donate books to and shop with us. It’s much more realistic than another of my dreams, world peace.

So, I ventured out on the town with a camera in one hand and an iPhone to take notes in the other. I met dozens of fascinating, bright and friendly people. And a few in the likes of Oscar from Sesame Street. We laughed and opened up to one another. Strangers now friends. Literally “friends” thanks to Facebook.

These smiling strangers represent a diverse array of our neighbors worldwide. In each of them, lies a different gem which makes this a Better World.

Now, you are cordially invited to see their faces and read their stories. Comments and questions to your new friends are welcome. Book recommendations are encouraged.

I’d love to turn you from a stranger into a friend, too. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on a Better World. Help my 2012 dreams come true. Love one another and tell your friends about Better World Books!

Faces of a Better World Facebook gallery: explore here.

PS – Like the quote above? Here’s more from Tennessee Williams:

PPS – We’d love for you to send us your literacy/green-related story & photo to add to the collection. Many thanks!


  1. I came across your organization by accident on the Internet. I was looking for some particular books. When I opened looked at your website and saw all the great things you do to help others…I could not get my order in fast enough!
    It is a great thing you are doing to help others!
    I just got my order today and my books were better than what I expected for used books! I am spreading the word to all my friends and family. I even checked you out on the BBB website and they gave you a nice rating that you have lived up to. I am going to be donating all my extra books to you from now on! I am now going to be getting my books from you too.
    Thanks so much!
    Sonia H

  2. Pedro Diaz Lammertyn says:

    I’m a 20-year-old student who lives in Cordoba, Argentina, a beautiful old, mid/sized city with lots colonial and post colonial architecture gem, nestled in the line that separates the mountains from the argentine pampas.
    We also have two large universities which are chosen by a big number of international students who seek to spend a semester or more here. Hardly ever have I heard other than compliments from them toward my city. They say that they love the place, that they learned a lot, that they had tons of fun, and, more important, that they were pleasently surprised to find so open-minded and hearted people here –those are their words, not mine, and I think they over-generalize.
    Anyway, despite the latter ‘internationalization’ of the city, it’s really hard to get books in languages other than Spanish. And this is a problem to me, because I’m very fond of learning foreing languages (I’ve studied English for many years and I’ve been learning French for more than two).
    Thanks to betterworldbooks, I was able to buy books in English and in French, getting great deals (which is really valuable, given that you need about 4 argentine pesos to buy one dollar). Plus, I get to read my favourite authors in their original languages, avoiding the annoying filter of translations.
    Sorry for the long response. Keep it up, man! And feel free to visit my city and the rest of this country and continent. Don’t hesitate to contact me for any info on this topic.
    Oh, and if there’s anyway of donating from here, I’d be glad to help.


  3. Pedro Diaz Lammertyn says:

    PS: Sorry about the ‘man’ thing. I’m not sure wether Erin is a boy’s or girl’s name 😛

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