7 Ways Books Are Changing The World For The Better

7 Ways Books Are Changing The World For The Better

7 Ways Books Are Changing The World For The Better
7 Ways Books Are Changing The World For The Better

It’s no secret we’re head-over-heels for reading here at Book Box HQ. One thing we’re even more passionate about than curling up with a good book, however, is making reading more accessible. We’re honoured to play a part in boosting book accessibility by being able to put so many great reads into the hands of booklovers all around the motu with the click of a button. And we’re delighted to be among great company.

Here are 7 book-loving initiatives that are changing the world for the better.

Duffy Books In Homes
Reading has a whole slew of benefits at any age, at the very least, providing inspiration and a way to relax, and everyone should get to enjoy these benefits irrespective of budget especially when you’re just starting out in life. This is where Duffy Books In Homes comes in. The programme, which was created in 1994 to break the ‘cycle of booklessness in equity index schools’, gifts children’s books to over 100,000 students in over 520 schools around Aotearoa every year. To date, the programme has distributed over 14 million books. Impressive.

Books On The Underground
Free books appearing on public transport? Uh, yes please. Books On The Underground began back in 2012 with Hollie Fraser, the O.G. book fairy, leaving books on trains in the London Underground in an effort to get more people reading. The movement, which is now a not-for-profit organisation, is still going strong today with a bunch of international spin-offs including Books On The Subway in New York although it’s currently on hiatus. Call us dreamy but the idea that a book could appear in front of you at the time when you need it the most is pretty darn magical.

Narrative Muse
Back on our shores, Narrative Muse is a local startup that uses deep tech to match readers with stories by (and about) intersectional underrepresented communities across books, tv shows and movies. What’s more, the startup feeds forward insights it learns about its reader and watcherships with screen producers and publishers to highlight underserved market gaps to further diversify stories even before they’re created. Now, that’s pretty cool.

Public Libraries
It’d be remiss of us, in a list about the best bookish initiatives, to overlook the mahi of our humble public libraries. Auckland Libraries alone has an enormous collection of books including titles in languages other than English, large print books, eBooks and AudioBooks. Every librar is an inclusive hub of learning and that’s exactly how it should be. Better still, library cards are free for residents and ratepayers.

The Banned Book Club
In the United States, access to some books isn’t necessarily straightforward because a book may be banned in one state but not another. This creates massive, geo-locked gaps in book accessibility potentially suppressing whole genres of stories that deserve to be heard and understood. The Banned Book Club is a free app created by the Digital Public Library of America and gives readers access to e-book editions of books banned by their local libraries. It’s a literary rebellion we thoroughly approve of.

Naked Girls (& Boys) Reading
You read correctly—reading isn’t just for behind closed doors. Naked Girls Reading is a juicy celebration of literature and bodily autonomy. Created by Michelle L’Amour in Chicago back in 2009, the ‘unorthodox book club’ is now a staple of drag festivals and fringe shows the world over. We even have our own local edition thanks to award-winning drag king, Hugo Grrrl, who launched the New Zealand iteration in 2016, and added Naked Boys Reading to the lineup in 2018. We’re blown away by yet another example of how books can be conversation-sparking, thought-provoking, controversial, sassy and empowering.

Book Box
We’re almost certainly biased but, nevertheless, it’s hard to find a downside to a great read appearing on your doorstep each month. At Book Box there’s no battling traffic en route to the bookstore, there’s no massive waitlist on a book you want to read or praying to the parking gods for a spot that isn’t a small marathon away, you don’t even need to make any decisions—it’s a fuss-free, blissful dose of bookish surprise on the regular, and that’s just how we roll.

Want in? Snag your perfect book subscription here.



- Words by Alice Rich

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