“If you’re like me, you just can’t imagine living in a world without reading.”
— Bradley S. Wirz
I have been requested to mention a new philanthropic organization called Gone Reading on my blog. Gone Reading was founded by Bradley Wirz. They market a line of gifts for readers and donate 100% of the profits to fund new libraries in the developing world. Mr. Wirz writes,
If you’re like me, you just can’t imagine living in a world without reading. Unfortunately, for almost a billion people today, that’s exactly where they find themselves. There are countless villages, towns and vast regions of this planet where the power of reading has yet to shine its light.
Gone Reading International, LLC was founded to bring the magic effect of reading to places where it doesn’t exist. We believe that when people have open access to great reading materials, life always changes for the better. When libraries and reading materials are made available, entire villages, communities and their citizens achieve unprecedented levels of self-sufficiency.
That’s why Gone Reading International, founded in 2011, has pledged to donate 100% of our company’s profits to fund new reading libraries and other literacy projects in the developing world. By purchasing our gifts for readers, you’re changing the world while treating yourself and the bibliophiles in your life to a great gift.
We donate to amazing non-profits – we call them our mission partners – such as READ Global and Ethiopia Reads, amazing organizations with proven models, long track records, and dedicated teams on the ground. Such groups partner with local villages in the most underdeveloped parts of the world to build small libraries that profoundly effect their communities. Our goal is to provide significant financial assistance to such organizations, allowing them to achieve greater scale and impact.
We invite you to join the GoneReading family by making a purchase of our gifts for readers, and equally important, sharing our story with the book lovers, bibliophiles and readers in your life!
Gone Reading sells typical stuff — t-shirts, mugs, totes, &c. — featuring their own designs and slogans. So, what does all of this have to do with Jane Austen, besides the obvious connection of books and reading? Mr. Wirz blogged,
Based solely on emails and comments that I receive, Jane Austen has to be one of the most popular authors among GoneReading fans. To make sure that I keep in touch with our incredibly loyal fan base, I’ve decided that I need to do something I’ve never done before: Actually read a book by Jane Austen and learn what the fuss is all about. (From A Dude Reads Jane Austen)
Of course, this was an excellent idea, as was immediately recognized by those that follow Mr. Wirz’s blog. He subsequently wrote:
My recent post announcing that I’m reading all of the Jane Austen novels (check out A Dude Reads Jane Austen) has been shared on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ more than virtually anything else we’ve done here at GoneReading. Who knew?
To capitalize on this (hey, it’s all for a good cause), I’m proud to introduce GoneReading’s latest product design, entitled “Jane Austen For President!” and pictured to the right.
Frustrated with the coming election? Sick of politics in general? Act now by purchasing one of our newest gifts for readers featuring this original design.
As an aside, when I first told my wife – a huge Jane Austen fan – that we were putting this design together, her reply was distressingly pragmatic: “But she’s from England; she could never become president.” Never mind the fact that she died almost 200 years ago.
So, just to be clear, this is really all in jest. Jane Austen is not actually running for office. Nonetheless, we hope you’ll get behind the Austen 2012 “campaign”. (From Jane Austen for President!)
So now you can get your own t-shirt, mug, tote, or even a baby onesie, bib, or blanket, an apron, or a dog t-shirt, with “Jane Austen for President! 2012” on it. They have some other designs as well, such as the amusing “Take Me to Your Reader” design.
If you want to follow Mr. Wirz’s comments as he reads Jane Austen, his blog is here: The Gone Reading Blog. He has already been impressed with the quality of her writing.
The quality of the writing itself is extraordinary. Separate from plot and narrative, I’m speaking specifically of the use of language. Jane Austen wrote with exquisite cadence and precision. (From A Dude Reads Jane Austen – Volume 2)