Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jane Austen for President 2012

I so meant to get this post up before the holiday season, as I thought it would be such a wonderful addition to any Janeites shopping list, but alas, I again must plead baby as an excuse for my tardiness. Nevertheless, for those of you who have not yet heard of Gone Reading International, I will take a few moments to bring this important organization to your attention. Founder and CEO Bradley S. Wirz contacted me way back in early November, asking if I would help to spread the word about this new organization's noble goal to help establish libraries in the developing world. Their online boutique ( is full of gifts targeted to book lovers, and 100% of the proceeds go towards fulfilling their mission. Of greatest interest to readers of this blog is the Jane Austen Collection, featuring the Jane Austen for President 2012 line of goods. If only! The slogan not only makes me want to rush out and buy an absolutely adorable onesie for my little one, it also begs the question: upon what platform would Jane Austen run for office? I can't see her pandering to special interest groups, which would undoubtedly land her on the fringe of the political spectrum, but perhaps her frankness would be welcomed by a jaded American populace. If she were to grace the oval office with her hallowed presence, one would like to believe it would be the dawn of an era noted for partisan reconciliation, industrious activity, and the revival of hats. On the other hand, perhaps she would just be dismissive of all the members of Congress, conferring upon them the title of "intolerably stupid", and be known for little else than her relentless support of the arts. Either way, hers would be a fascinating term.

Here is a copy of a letter from Mr. Wirz, detailing the organization's purpose. Please think of the joy books have played in your own life and consider sharing that indescribable pleasure with those in need.

Dear Fellow Book Lovers:

If you're like me, you just can't imagine living in a world without reading. Unfortunately, for almost a billion people today, that's exactly where they find themselves. There are countless villages, towns and vast regions of this planet where the power of reading has yet to shine its light.

Gone Reading International, LLC was founded to bring the magic effect of reading to places where it doesn't exist. We believe that when people have open access to great reading materials, life always changes for the better. When libraries and reading materials are made available, entire villages, communities and their citizens achieve unprecedented levels of self-sufficiency.

That's why Gone Reading International, founded in 2011, has pledged 100% of company profits to fund new reading libraries and other literacy projects in the developing world. By purchasing our gifts for readers, you're changing the world while treating yourself and the bibliophiles in your life to a great gift.

We're working with great non-profits – we call them our mission partners – such as READ Global and Ethiopia Reads, amazing organizations with proven models, long track records, and dedicated teams on the ground. Such groups partner with local villages in the most underdeveloped parts of the world to build small libraries that profoundly effect their communities. Our goal is to provide significant financial assistance to such organizations, allowing them to achieve greater scale and impact.

We invite you to join the GoneReading family by making a purchase of our gifts for readers, and equally important, sharing our story with the book lovers, bibliophiles and readers in your life!

Happy Reading!

Bradley S. Wirz
Founder & CEO
Gone Reading International, LLC

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