When I read, I’m gone. I disappear into a liminal world where I don’t notice pesky details like nagging family members, deadlines, or boarding calls. From my earliest memory, reading has opened me to stories and ideas from every part of the world. I can’t imagine life without it.
But there are 785 million people on the planet who can’t read. That’s one in every five of us—two-thirds of that number are women.
This is where the philanthropic e-commerce site Gone Reading comes in. Founders Brad and Eileen Wirz have joined forces with READ Global and Ethiopia Reads, organizations with an excellent track record of partnering with local communities to develop new libraries. Remarkably, Gone Reading is entirely volunteer run and donates 100% of its after-tax profits, so every single dollar they raise goes to help to advance the magic of reading. Good Reads has already funded its first project, the Gebeta Community Children’s Library in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
When you make a purchase from the curated selections offered by Gone Reading you’re not only buying a wonderful gift: You’re sharing the gift of reading with the world at large. Here are some of our favorite offerings.
Paperback perfume oil, redolent with the scent of ink and paper plus a hint of romance. These 3″ tall glass bottles hold 8.8 ml of delicately scented oil. $9.99
The Doublewide Floating Book Shelf holds a maximum load of 30 lbs. All hardware included, along with easy-install directions. The shelf itself measures 15″ wide x 1″ tall x 5-3/8″ deep. And it looks like it’s floating! $17.99
Picasso’s “Two Girls Reading” 200 piece puzzle makes a terrific family activity or gift for the young readers in your life. Comes in a decorative hinged tin, perfect for gifting and for storage. $16.99
The Kurt Vonnegut mug is covered with original imagery, artwork, and quotations from the writer’s life and works. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Arrives in its own colorful gift box. $12.95
Bamboo bathtub caddy is a luxurious way to hold soap and wine, plus a fold-able book support for your book or eReader. Heavy-duty construction from real bamboo, a richly textured and renewable wood. Designed by Argentinian designer Luciano Lorenzatti. $49.99
The Public Library: A Photographic Essay is a 92-page book featuring photos and text that chronicle the beauty, grandeur, and simple realities of libraries old and new. Contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, Isaac Asimov, Amy Tan, E.B. White, Dr. Seuss, and many more. Includes a foreward by Bill Moyers and afterword by Ann Patchett. $35.00
Secular Saint candle features the Bard, a.k.a. the patron saint of “Cross-Dressers, Star-Crossed Lovers, and Upstart Crows.” This heavy glass candle measures 8-1/4″ tall for many hours of illumination. $12.95
Great Drinkers of Literature shot glass set features the likenesses and quotes of six literary greats (who were also great drinkers) including Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, Charles Baudelaire, and Winston Churchill. $16.95
Pride & Prejudice book text poster is designed using more than 18,000 words from Jane Austen’s classic novel. It’s printed on archival, vinyl-infused paper that resists tearing and moisture. Available in both color and black and white version: 24″ tall x 18″ wide. $24.00
Shopping for gifts just became another way to help others discover what it’s like to be gone reading no matter where they call home.