Penguin Random House has launched a Christmas campaign that will see it donate books to food banks and other good causes when customers buy selected titles through Bookshop.org.
The publisher is working in partnership with Neighbourly to get books into the hands of grassroots causes across the country, including food banks, homeless shelters and community centres. The campaign kicks off today (16th November) and runs until 21st December.
The “It begins with a book” campaign applies to selected titles sold through Penguin's own storefront on the indie-focused retail site. All affiliate proceeds will also be contributed to the Bookshop.org profit pool for independent booksellers.
Novels picked for the campaign include Richard Osman's runaway bestseller The Thursday Murder Club (Viking), Booker-prize winning Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton), and Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child (Bantam Press).
The selection of non-fiction books features Nigella Lawson’s Cook, Eat, Repeat (Chatto), Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land (Viking) and Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (Ebury). Children’s books included are The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo (Puffin), Never Show a T-Rex a Book! by Rashmi Sirdeshpande (Puffin) and Adam Kay’s first book for youngsters Kay’s Anatomy (Puffin).
Becca Sinclair, communications and brand director at PRH UK, said: “At Penguin Random House, our mission is ‘we make books for everyone because we believe a book can change anyone’. That change can be large or small, profound or simple, long-lasting or fleeting. Many of us have been turning to books through the pandemic, be it for information, entertainment or escapism. We want to share the power of reading and get our books into the hands of those who need them most, while continuing to honour our commitment to support independent bookshops through this challenging time.”
Nicole Vanderbilt, UK m.d. at Bookshop.org, added: "We are delighted to be part of this campaign which will enable book buyers both to support independent bookshops and to get books into the hands of grassroots good causes across the country. We were founded with the belief that books and bookshops are vital to a healthy culture."
The Christmas campaign builds on a longer-term partnership between the publisher and Neighbourly, with 25,000 books distributed to over 25 good causes so far in 2020 including Warming Up The Homeless in Hastings, the Billingham & Stockton-on-Tees Foodbank and the London Children’s Book Project. Penguin colleagues and authors whose books are part of the campaign are being given the opportunity to nominate good causes to receive books through Neighbourly in the new year.
Stacey Cullen, director of operations and programmes at UK Harvest, one of the causes receiving the books through Neighbourly, said: "We have taken our children’s book donations from Penguin out to the domestic refugees we support, where there are over 30 children currently living with their mothers waiting to be rehomed in a safe location. To be able to give the children a present, especially a book they can escape into, is a fabulous thing."