Saturday, 25 December 2010

Festive Greetings

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

In addition, please also accept our best wishes for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make this country great (not to imply that this country is necessarily greater than any other country or area of choice), and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual orientation of the wishers.

This wish is limited to the customary and usual good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. 'Holiday' is not intended to, nor shall it be considered, limited to the usual Judeo-Christian celebrations or observances, or to such activities of any organized or ad-hoc religious community, group, individual or belief (or lack thereof).

Note: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all.
This greeting is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. This greeting implies no promise by the wisher actually to implement any of the wishes for the wisher her/himself or others, or responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the implementation or non-implementation of it.

This greeting is void where prohibited by law.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

dashing through the snow...

well, not exactly dashing, but doing our best to get books and more treasures to local organizations for Christmas and New Year.

We seem to have some special extras each year, and this time it is lots of wonderful stationery - lovely bound notebooks in 3 sizes, ring binders, mouse mats (the kind that work!), plastic folders, box folders, paperclips, magnet-clips and lots more - all brand new. This is all thanks to a huge donation from Staples.

Many of the local organizations helping people who are temporarily homeless arrange educational courses of many different kinds. The stationery will be a big help to people following these courses or doing workshops in creative writing. We're sure that the various women's projects will also be very happy with gifts of stationery as well as books.

We can't thank Staples enough for their generosity - not only for giving us this huge gift, but for shipping it to us from The Netherlands. - Our division in Leiden also took delivery of stationery supplies and we are also expecting a further delivery of pens and pencils.

We really need to get some more projects running in different parts of the UK. It makes little sense for everything to operate from the North-East. Ideally we should have Borderline Books projects in as many major cities as we can, so that deliveries can always be local, thus eliminating the need to drive long distances or ship books up and down the country.

We'd like to wish everyone a warm and safe 2011 - with plenty of books for all.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Giving away one million books?

Giving away a million books? - Yes a great idea, but at the same time I see this is getting publishers to print (even) more books rather than helping to find a solution to the continuing issue around pulping.
On the BBC website today

Well, yes as I say, it's a good idea, but I'd far rather see some useful self-help books being passed out to women in prison or in the probation system - or books on self-expression and self-esteem. Time after time I talk to people to see what is most needed and it's not escapist fiction but tools to help them rebuild their lives.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could get a site like the BBC to give a project such as ours some mega-publicity?
Of course, encouraging people to enjoy and share literature is lovely and wonderful, but I'm all too conscious of the people who need books to help them enjoy life.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

How did it get as far as Valentine's Day before I wrote a new entry here? Life I guess.
As ever, things are in a State of Flux (voting next week...) - the project in Groningen is suspended indefinitely while they move to a new and much larger space. Pity - we just got a big grant for the project, but will have to return it as we can't do it within the specified time.
Tra la and so it goes...

In Leiden things continue as before, but since I am about to make tracks for England on a more permanent basis, we are in serious need of people to keep the project developing. We have one constant volunteer who patiently stamps all the books as they come in. We need more people to help with outreach and bright ideas - and to follow up our existing contacts.
Next week we will have a meeting to brainstorm about the future and have hopes that this will result in a new project starting up in the Hague by one of the organizations which makes regular use of our books.

In England we are still stuck with a store-room which is not sufficiently insulated, so are in serious need of a new space where we can also have volunteers working. We really need to take ALL the books out and have the builders in to sort out the dampness and put in decent insulation before that space can be used for anything.

But spring is on the way and that's when new projects can flourish, so keep an eye on this space and think along with us - we need new spaces everywhere! any town large enough to have people without homes needs a Borderline BookSpace.

We're looking to do some serious networking in the UK. Borderline Books is a super-flexible project and can fit with all sorts of existing projects... so let's get busy