One Book At A Time Aims to Pair Children With Book Donors at Indie Stores

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The Family-to-Family poverty relief organization is inviting booksellers nationwide to become involved in its One Book At A Time literacy project, which links book donors with children in need.

“This is a wonderful way for a bookstore to provide books to children who are book lovers that can’t afford books, a wonderful new way to sell more books in the store, and a way to engage in conversation about literacy,” said Pam Koner, executive director of Family-to-Family.

One Book At A Time was piloted in the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance region last year and gained many donors through the participating stores, including Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia; Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina; and Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, among others.


The young Illinois recipient of a book donated through One Book At A Time.

Customers can learn about the program through their local, independent bookstore, which directs interested donors to Family-to-Family to sign up. New donors are paired with a “book hungry” child from anywhere in the country. Donors are provided with the child’s name, age, interests, books they like to read, and reading level. Once a month for 12 months, the donor sends the child a new book and a personal letter.

Donors can work with their host bookstore to identify the best books to send, and booksellers can promote One Book At A Time and suggest books for purchase online, in newsletters, via social media, and in stores.

To help promote the program, One Book At A Time provides downloads for posters, bookmarks, and postcards for booksellers to use in stores and online. Bookstores interested in promoting the One Book At A Time program can contact Family-to-Family at books@familytofamily.org.

“Those booksellers who love the project have really gotten behind it and pushed it,” said Koner. “They love being a part of it.”