Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Last Minute Details

I'm just reposting this for those participants who didn't leave an e-mail address. Everyone else should have received this by e-mail:

Thanks so much for your help with publicising the event, it always make me smile to see a new blog post about our charity efforts. I just need your help with a little housekeeping before we start, and I also want to pass on some last minute information.


If you know which charity you'll be supporting in 2009, but haven't declared it yet can you please send me an e-mail. If you could just include the name that you signed up with, the charity/ies you will be raising money for, and a link to their website that would be great.

I plan to send out three short newsletters throughout the year for you to pass on to your sponsors just so that they don't forget about what's going on. If you don't want to send newsletters on then please send an e-mail saying NO NEWSLETTER.

If anyone has not received an invite to contribute to the blog or has not received their sponsorship form please let me know by e-mail.

Extra Info

Each month I'll be holding a motivational prize draw with prizes designed to inspire you to read more. At the moment I've collected prizes like new books donated by publishing houses, signed copies, crafty items and Bookmooch points. I hope the chance to win goodies will make 'The Year of Reading' fun! If anyone wants to donate an extra prize just e-mail me.

I don't want to bug you guys too much throughout the year but every month I will be sending you a short e-mail letting you know when the monthly prize draw (see above) has opened. This e-mail will also ask for your book total for the month, and I'd really appreciate if you could send in your totals each month.

Some people have asked if they should collect all their sponsors money in to send it to their charity or if sponsors can send individual checks. Either way is fine but if your sponsors send their money individually please make sure you keep track of what they send so you can send me an accurate total of all the money you've raised at the end of 2009.

If you know of any other worth reading challenges/events to raise money for reading charities taking place next year (I know there are some people reading for The American Heart Association in Feb) let me know about them. I'm hoping to add a list of events to the blog.

That's about it. I hope you find some fantastic books (and feel free to talk about them at the blog) and raise lots of money for your worthy charities.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

First Book of the Year?

Hi there,

I'm Rob, aka Trebro, the person behind The Book Stew (for books) and Panel Patter (for comics). I will be personally hitting myself up for 10 cents for every book and trade I finish this year, which should work out to about 100 books and 200 or so comics, based on past years of reading.

I've always loved books from a very young age, and am looking forward to helping others share in the fun I've always had by helping out Reader to Reader.

So now that we're approaching January First, I thought I'd ask what other people are planning to read for their first book of the new year. In my case, I've selected "Lincoln's Youth" by Louis Austin Warren. 2009 is Lincoln's birth year bicentennial, so I am going to try and read 1 Lincoln book every moth this year. I got this book a few years ago when vacationing in Indianapolis, where their historical center has a Lincoln wing. It's about, well, I guess you can figure that from the title! I figured that's a great place to start my Lincoln reading.

What are you planning for your first book of the year?

Monday, 15 December 2008

The Campaign for the Book

Vulpes Libris (the book foxes) have a recent post introducing 'The Campaign for the Book'. This is a campaign organised by Alan Gibbons, a childrens author, who beliefs libraries are of extreme importance to our culture.

The campaign has a charter which outlines what those involved have deicated themselve to:

We, the signatories of this Charter commit ourselves to campaigning for the following:

1. The central place of reading for pleasure in society.

2. A proper balance of book provision and Information Technology in public and school libraries. We welcome the integration of new technologies but believe that they must not erode the key place of books and the need for a healthy and expanding book stock.

3. The defence of public libraries and librarians from attempts to cut spending in a ‘soft’ area.

4. An extension of the role of the school librarian and a recognition of the school library as a key engine of learning. All staff employed in school libraries to have access to appropriate and adequate support and training.

5. The recruitment of more school librarians. It is a national scandal that less than a third of secondary schools has a trained librarian.

6. The defence of the professional status of the public and school librarian. We oppose downgrading. In some places this has reduced librarians’ salaries by up to half.

7. A higher profile for reading for pleasure in schools, including shadowing book awards, inviting authors and illustrators to visit, developing school creative writing magazines.

8. To support the sustainability and future development of Schools Library Service provision nationally.

9. To promote a more positive reading culture in school, in which the reading of whole books is preferred to studying extracts alone

All of this is pretty important stuff. If you love reading chances are you've had a positive encounter with a library. One of my favourite childhood memories is finding the hardback copy of Philip Pullman's 'Northern Lights' in Dudley library. It was the first cover design edition, the one featuring the detailed version of the altheiometer and I loved it. I read it three times before buying my own copy but I never found a copy with that exact cover. This was just one of many wonderful encounters I have had with books in my local libraries.

In my area (West Midlands UK) there are several libraries which are well run but which would certainly benefit from increased funding. If you haven't yet picked your reading charity for next year I urge you to think about reading for your local library in 2009.

Friday, 14 November 2008

New Developments

Just a quick post to give you a short inspirational update. The Year of Readers has now been mentioned at quite a few great places like A Novel Challenge, Estellas Revenge and Blog of a Bookslut , as well as at many independent reader blogs. Checking my site results today I see we've had a few mentions on French blogs so Bonjour! I'm in the process of getting some more exposure for the event at the moment as well as submitting the blog address to search engines and trying to get small presses involved.

I've heard from three of my favourite book bloggers that they will be selecting charities and joining up to raise funds in 2009. Those e-mails were really exciting because I love their blogs and I know big readers means lots of money for worthy causes.

I've picked my charity! I'll be reading for Room to Read, which works on two continents and believes reading is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. I've also started getting my friends to sponsor me and the pennies are rolling in.

Speaking of pennies I've made a (possibly financially ruinous) decision that for every book read by a Year of Reading participant I will personally donate a penny to EcoLibris (donation to be made January 2010). I know environmental 'offsetting' can be a bit tenuous. Readers should focus their efforts on reading secondhand books, borrowed books etc but there's just no use pretending that the trade in virgin paper books is going to disappear. Surely it's better to help plant new trees than to sit around and tut. As the EcoLibris website says:

'Eventually (and hopefully sooner then later), books will be made from recycled paper or other eco-friendly materials. But till then, we can still do something to make the world greener.'

So I'll be asking for book totals at the end of 2009 and each book read will earn an extra penny for EcoLibris, which go towards planting trees. Whatever total we reach I'll round it up to a tree planting amount of dollars.

Finally I'm happy to announce that every month in 2009 I'll be holding a little motivational prize draw for readers here at the blog. All prizes will be designed to enable your reading obsession. Look out for some cool reading paraphenalia.

That's it for now. I hope everyone who has signed up so far has received their sposnorship form (contact me at bakerjodie at googlemail dot com if you haven't). Thanks for spreading the word.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Bring on the Buttons!

Hey everyone. This is Mandi from Total Bookworm. I've made a few buttons for us and I'll be making a couple of banners either today or tomorrow. Please just right click & save these to your computer to use them.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, 24 October 2008

Our First Participants

Hi to our first participants! I'm so thankful that Wendy posted about this event on A Novel Challenge and there will be an announcement about it in Estella's Revenge next month! I'm going to try sending press releases out to other places but it would really help if you could post about 'The Yera of Readers' on your own blogs that would really help. I hope we'll pick up lots of people and really be able to make a difference to some charities next year.

If you left an e-mail address in the comments you should have received an invitation to contribute to this blog. It would be great to see people dropping by in 2009 to talk about how their challenge is going or just to put up reviews of books they think other challenge participants might like. I'll be
e-mailing through forms for you to gather sponsors on. I suggest getting them to sponsor you per book or give a flate rate, much simpler to calculate than an amount per page. If you want other bloggers tro sponsor you online I suggest either just getting them to declare themselves (say that they will sponsor you and how much for) in a comment and let them send their contributions directly to your chosen charity at the end of 2009 or check out Just Giving to see if the charity has a campaign set up there.

I'm going to work hard to have lots of fun things happening throughout the year to keep the challenges momentum going. I hope you will all enjoy my laidback, read what you like challenge and that between us we'll raise lots of money for deserving causes.

As you can see we're still graphically challenged after my graphic designers had some personal issues to deal with. If you can create great looking buttons and banners please let me know!

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