Dover Publications, that venerable publisher best known for art, craft and Thrift Edition titles, has just announced a special for its 75th anniversary. According to the alert, “Dover Publications is pleased to announce that they will make a donation of a percentage of all sales generated on doverpublications.com on the date of their anniversary, May 18, 2016, to the children’s charitable organization Reading Is Fundamental.” This deal apparently applies to the Dover ebooks available for download directly from the site, as well as print books.
Now, according to its materials, “Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) transforms lives through the power of books. By providing children in need with access to books of their choosing, RIF empowers young minds to embrace the world of reading and develop a love of learning. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, RIF has provided more than 412 million books to 40 million RIF kids over 50 years, inspiring generations to read, learn, and grow.”
Kristine Anderson, Dover’s Vice President of Marketing, said in the announcement, “Hayward Cirker launched the Dover Thrift Edition series in 1990 with the goal of bringing classic literature to every reader at an affordable price. This mission perfectly complements Reading Is Fundamental’s goal of starting children on the path to reading at an early age.”
Lest this post come across too much like an ad for Dover, let me say that I have lasting affection for Dover and the Dover titles I bought in the past. Dover also announced that they are “Dover Publications is celebrating their 75th anniversary all year long with incredible promotions including the Share Your Dover Story [a contest open until May 18] …the launch of the original Math imprint, Aurora; the annual National Coloring Book Day celebration on August 2, which was founded by Dover in 2015; and much more.”
As for Dover’s tieup with Reading Is Fundamental, I’m not sure if this initiative counts as a publisher bidding to short-cut Amazon and go directly to the readers, but even if it is, it’s a more honorable and better motivated one than most.