5 Initiatives That Are Making Books Available to the Masses [LIST]

Spreading the joy of reading to all

Apr 4, 2014
Special Collections: READING FOR THE SOUL

Books transport readers to never before discovered places, providing insight, knowledge and enjoyment.  In an effort to expose more people to the joys of reading, please get to know five great organizations out there that are making books, electronic and print, available to all.

1. WE GIVE BOOKS

CONCEPT: For every book read on the free website, a book is donated to a literacy charity of the user’s choice from a list of designated campaigns.
WHAT THAT MEANS: The books on the site are for kids up to ten years old, making the site an excellent place to simultaneously spread the love of reading and instill the value of giving to others. To date 2,946,576 books have been read and donated.  

Screenshot of We Give Books

2. LITTLE FREE LIBRARY

CONCEPT: DIY libraries made from recyclable materials and filled with free books.
WHAT THAT MEANS: Already numbering 15,000, Little Free Libraries are spread throughout the world encouraging the free exchange of books and communal sharing. Anyone can make their own with DIY tutorials or purchase a little library box on the site.

Screenshot of Little Free Library

3. UNGLUE

CONCEPT: A crowdfunding website, where readers, libraries, authors and other literati can join together and pledge or donate money that will be used to license specific books under Creative Commons.
WHAT THAT MEANS: If a campaign to unglue a book reaches its funding goal, the authors and publishers of your favorite books get paid for their work, and you get a free ebook.

Screenshot of Unglue

4. PROJECT GUTENBERG

THE CONCEPT: The brainchild of Mike Hart in 1971, Project Gutenberg is a  place to digitize and archive books.
WHAT THAT MEANS:volunteer run organization, Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library, offering over 45,000 free ebooks. Ebooks can be downloaded in various computer formats, and includes audio and books burnt onto disc for folks with a slow internet connection.

Screenshot of Project Gutenberg

5. RELIT NY

THE CONCEPT: Providing New York’s busy commuters with free books outside of subway stations.
WHAT THAT MEANS: The majority of New Yorkers use public transport, and instead of burrowing into a smartphone, the good folks at ReLIT NY want to make books accessible to anyone looking for a good read on the train. The gently-used books are all donated and in the words of ReLit NY, make for a mass-scale book sharing reading program for the city.

Screenshot of ReLIT NY

Special Collection