Credit where credit is due: We stole our Book Bag 2010 Fundraiser idea from Ayelet Waldman, the Berkeley author who also happens to be married to Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Chabon. Waldman used a grab bag idea -- set number of randomly assembled books, seeded with signed or special editions, sold in a tote bag -- to raise money for Obama in 2008.
Why do an online fundraiser at this time of year? Because it's getting dark and snowy. Holidays are looming and we know you're busy. You don't need to attend another soiree right now. What you may need is an easy, affordable way to help and shop at the same time. Voila! The book bag concept.
When I contacted Waldman this year to share the news that we wanted to try her idea, she answered graciously and was among the very first to send some donated books: a signed copy of Bad Mother, her notorious and wonderful essay collection, and a copy of Chabon's Yiddish Policeman's Union, a novel set in Sitka that every Alaskan should read. (Chabon visited Anchorage when the book was released and demonstrated once again his unparalleled nice-guy approachability. These two gifted, socially conscious writers set a high bar.)
We opened the fundraiser storefront a little early on Tuesday night when I couldn't wait another anxious second. But today is the day we really start beating the drum: We need your help to sell our 50 Corvax McCarthy raven logo tote bags in order to support our continuing development of writing center programs and events. Each bag comes packed with four to five books from our great collection of donated volumes by Alaska and Outside authors. Some are signed, like the Waldman and Chabon books mentioned above; some are rare. We've also included some freebies, like advanced reader copies and other items generously donated by several publishers and a bookstore, Fireside Books in Palmer.
The $80 price includes shipping and boxes head out the door within 24 to 48 hours of order receipt, in time to beat the holiday rush. To purchase online, a painless process, please go to http://www.49fundraiser.blogspot.com/.At this blog for the next week or two, I'll continue to tell you about a few of the generous authors who donated and I'll mention some of the special books that could show up in any of these book bags. Please take part and help us spread the word.