Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

It’s Simple. They’re Gone Reading :-)


This post is being left up for Four days—that’s how important it is…

C. S. Lewis said: “We read to know we are not alone.”

And, Confucius is reputed to have said: “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

Well There are apparently about a billion people on our planet who don’t  choose to not read—they are, for various reasons, unable to obtain books

There’s a gentleman named Bradley S. Wirz who aims to help change that; and, he’s begun a marvelous non-profit called Gone Reading International.

I got to talk to him the other day :-)

~~~

Brad, what were you doing before you began GoneReading?

I had a better-than-I-deserved career in marketing for 20 years.  I spent the last 10 running the North American event marketing division of a global consortium called Euro RSCG.

What led you to the idea of GoneReading?

Reading has always been my #1 hobby.  I can’t imagine a world without books.  But one day I read (in a book, oddly enough) that almost a billion people in the world don’t have access to books.  They’re basically living in the middle ages.

Do you happen to remember the moment you decided to quit your job to start GoneReading?

Yes.  My corporate life had taken its toll.  I’ll spare you the details, but I found myself curled up in the fetal position in a hotel room in New York City.  I called my wife and said “I can’t do this anymore!”

By coincidence I had previously committed to going on a volunteer trip to Honduras in a few weeks’ time.  Our project involved helping to build a library in the middle of the Honduran jungle.  That’s what got the wheels turning in my mind.

So, Brad, how does GoneReading work?

GoneReading is a lifestyle brand of merchandise and gifts for book lovers like you and me.  Our current offering consists of original designs, each coupled with a slogan to pique the interest of readers.  Our designs are available for purchase on a variety of shirts, mugs, book bags, baby clothes and even dog t-shirts.  Everything is available for purchase at the GoneReading Store.

We’re donating 100% of the company profits in perpetuity to fund new libraries in the developing world.  We actually wrote that into our corporate charter.

I really like Kind Corporations :-) But tell me, how do you develop the designs and slogans on your merchandise?

It’s a collaborative process between myself and an amazing illustrator by the name of Danny Wilson.  Danny and I worked together throughout my corporate life.  We develop most of the concepts internally and Danny brings them to life visually.  Although I need to give Danny credit, he developed the idea for our most popular design called Take Me To Your Reader.  It’s perfect for you, Alex, considering it features an alien.

I don’t normally do the eye-candy-trip on this blog, Brad, but considering my recently published book is populated by aliens, I can’t resist — Whoot!

Design from GoneReadingI like that you’ve listed the seven most popular designs on your site, Brad :-)

So, how does all of this actually result in more libraries and literacy projects?

We’re donating 100% of company profits to help fund non-profit organizations that already specialize in developing libraries in the poorest parts of the world.  My wife and I went to India and Nepal earlier this year to meet with such groups, to see the work they are doing on the ground.  It’s amazing to see how a simple library can profoundly effect a local community.  Reading is a primary tool of self-improvement; without it, you don’t stand a chance.

Brad, thanks for taking time from your project to give us a glimpse of your Most Honorable Endeavor :-)

~~~

I must close this post with the quotes on reading from the GoneReading site:

  1. “I cannot live without Books” – Thomas Jefferson
  2. “I like big books (and I cannot lie)” – GoneReading founder Brad Wirz
  3. “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.” – Cicero
  4. “A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life.” – Henry Ward Beecher
  5. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
  6. “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  7. “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” – Mark Twain
  8. “Never judge a book by its movie.” – J.W. Egan
  9. “The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” – Anthony Trollope
  10. “You must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius

And, Please, don’t forget the Billion folks in our human family who wish  they could Choose to Read………
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4 responses to “It’s Simple. They’re Gone Reading :-)

  1. Pingback: Gone Reading… Again | Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

  2. Pingback: Very Special Discount Code for Readers, Writers, and Publishers « Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: Gone Reading, Again :-) « Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: We’re Gone Reading, Yet Again :-) | Notes from An Alien

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