Friday, September 4, 2009

Getting To Know- Better World Books- Better /Part I

Last June we posted a story about one of our favorite "business that cares" Better World Books. Subsequently, I have had the pleasure to interview Xavier Helgesen, one of the founders. I have since then learned a lot more not only about how it started, but also about the inspiration behind it, the partnerships with the non-profits they support, their mission to save millions of books from landfills and to support worlwide literacy programs. It was also interesting to hear from Xavier about what it takes to be a social entrepreneur: the challenges, the obstacles, but also the passion.

Better World Books has created a triple bottom line enterprise that is an exemplary model of innovation for affecting social change while focusing on the profitability of the business. So, this prompted me to write yet another post about them-well-two posts actually, as the actual interview will be Part II.

Better World Books offers a personal touch while engaging the customer too. After recently making a purchase, I received notice of my order and delivery status that included a personal letter:

(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen)and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?
I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

Better Worlds Books’ strength lies in their philosophy of partnership and engagement with the stakeholders. It’s a philosophy that includes everyone -even people like me - in the success of the venture.

Aside from the sweet touch of the orphan letter, Better World Books ensures their customer service meets the highest standards. Their ethos of social consciousness applies to all - employees, customers, their global literacy partners, even their financiers and local community.

It may not be businesslike to say, but I truly love this company!

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