Socially Responsible Online Bookseller Launches UK Retail Website – Green Living Online

Socially responsible online bookseller Better World Books, which collects and sells books to generate funds for literacy causes, unveils today its highly anticipated UK e-commerce website.  The new site offers free shipping in the UK and over 1 million new and used books for purchase, soon to expand to 8 million.  The company, which has operated an e-commerce site in the U.S. since 2003, has already generated over £5.5M (USD $8.5M) for global literacy causes through its online book sales.

Better World Books is a pioneer in socially responsible business.  Recognized internationally for its work to improve literacy worldwide, the company opened its UK operation in October 2008 out of its Dunfermline, Scotland Distribution Center.  To date, the UK operation has re-used or recycled over 650,000 books, raised over £100,000 for local libraries and global literacy, and serves over 500 libraries throughout the UK and Ireland.  Better World Books UK works closely with several UK and Ireland-based literacy organizations, including the National Literacy Trust, READ International, Room to Read, and the National Adult Literacy Agency, and is an associate member of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges.  The operation employs 18 full-time team members.

“Better World Books has experienced tremendous growth since it first launched in the U.S.,” said David Murphy, CEO of Better World Books.  “Over the years we’ve gained a loyal international following thanks to low-cost shipping and a mission that impacts literacy rates worldwide. We’ve seen particular interest in the UK since establishing operations in 2008, and now we’re investing in a website customized for our UK partners and customers.”

Better World Books offers new and used titles for sale on the new site, with all pre-loved books collected from partner libraries and campuses, as well as individual-organized book drives.  A portion of used book revenues goes to the organization that contributed the book, as well as to one of the non-profit literacy partners affiliated with Better World Books. 

Better World Books (www.BetterWorldBooks.com and http://www.BetterWorldBooks.co.uk) is a for-profit social enterprise that collects and sells books online with each sale generating funds for literacy initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. With more than eight million new and used titles in stock, Better World Books is a self-sustaining company that balances the social, economic and environmental values of its stakeholders.

Better World Books diverts books from landfills by conducting book drives on 1,800 college campuses, and by collecting discards from over 2,000 libraries. Since its founding in 2003, the Mishawaka, Ind.-based company has raised over £5.5M ($8.5 million) for its non-profit literacy, library and college partners; donated over 1.5 million college textbooks; re-used or recycled more than 46 million pounds of books; achieved over 15,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping, and created more than 200 full-time jobs with meaningful benefits.