A social entrepreneurship company based in Australia, Mailbooks for Good, has recently launched a literary-minded project that combines good design and a simple but strong idea with the joy of philanthropy. The company’s tagline, “Re-gift the gift of reading,” does a decent job of explaining the concept. But here’s the general idea, direct from the MFG website:

Mailbooks For Good is an innovation in book publishing, which allows you to donate books directly to those who need it. When the books are finished, readers simply turn the covers inside out and the books become pre-paid and pre-addressed packages. Once posted they are sent directly to the charity for distribution to those in need.

In other words, the backside of your book’s dust jacket is essentially an envelope. It’s definitely not a new idea, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of it being done with books. One thing we do know about philanthropy, though, is that people are much more willing to give when charitable organizations making the giving process easy. And aside from having to drop your book off at a mail box, it doesn’t get much easier than this. (For the time being, all of the donated books are being sent to The Footpath Library, an Australian organization that donates near-new and new books to homeless and marginalised people.)

Those of you who would like to help promote the Mailbooks for Good cause will have to wait, I’m sorry to say, unless you happen to live in Sydney, Australia, and are willing to purchase one of just five different titles at a brick-and-mortar shop called Gleebooks. But presumably, that’s only because the project is still in its salad days; an Australia-wide release, according to the MFG website, is “in the works.” When and if that happens, we’ll be sure to let you know.

There no word on whether or not this project may one day expand to the U.S., although I’m sure an enterprising and bright book lover could start something similar here without too much trouble. Any takers?

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