We Donate a book
for every book purchased
on our site
Over 100K books
donated to schools
worldwide
132 Million books
saved from landfills

For AwesomeBooks, it all started in 2004. How?

Co-founders Mubin and Taskeen were collecting textiles from charity shop clients (known as goodwill/thrift in the US) of a well-known, reputable textile recycling company. They noticed that the waste bins of all these charity shops were full of books. Some of these books were damaged and beyond re-use but most were in pristine or good condition and waiting to be re-used and enjoyed again. They couldn’t let this continue and so setup some trials to begin collecting these books to see if they could be re-sold or a new home to be found for them.

From sapling to tree…

Still in its infancy, selling books on marketplaces had just started becoming mainstream and this proved a great platform to connect book lovers to books which deserved to be re-read but were instead being thrown away. Why not resell these books, often at lower prices to those being sold as brand new, and save the environment at the same time?! Every book saved and resold, was a book that did not need to be reprinted. Every book re-read by another reader was like a flame, providing its fire and energy again and again without detracting from the original.

These ideas energised AwesomeBooks’ initial growth between 2004 and 2008. Sales doubled each year and in 2008, AwesomeBooks sold over 1 million book in the calendar year. Having established a business model, we also began remunerating charities for the books we collected from them. To date, we have paid out more than £5 million to charities such as AgeUK, Oxfam, Bernardos, Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie Cancer Care to name but a few.

Are we a business or something more?

Growth is great but at what cost? Saving millions of books was powerful, but what more could we do? In 2011, we started working with a foundation in Ghana which was determined to raise educational standards in Afigya Kwabre District, a district in the Ashante region near the city of Kumasi. You can read about it here, but it inspired us to think about how we could make donating books and empowering people through literacy a part of who we were.

Preserving our history…

As a History graduate, co-founder Mubin was always obsessed with what treasures lay contained within the millions of books that passed through the hands of our sorting and grading teams. What were we recycling that was actually a first edition of a classic? What were we using a tea coaters that belonged in a museum or deserved to be leafed through by a university researcher? We formed our Rare and Antiquarian division in 2012 and amongst other things, unearthed treasures like these.

Help starts at home

Since the financial crash of 2010, UK education funding has been cut drastically over a period of many years. One of first and most visible result of these cuts was the reduction in choice of books available for children at schools, particularly primary schools. Our view was that the one resource children should never be short of was books and opportunities to read. When children read, they dream of what could be… So we began a programme of free school donations to schools to desired it. We weren’t about to let some of those 100+ million books which passed through our hands be left without a home. So we launched a full page ad in local papers and encouraged schools who needed books to get in touch. The programme is still continuing, you can check it out here. Schools who would like a donation also get in touch with us here.

Serving customers better

In order to allow our customers and supporters to shop with us whatever book they were after, we have grown from offering 1m+ used books titles to 5m+ used or new titles sourced from thousands of publishers and imprints that we now work with. Add to this cd’s, dvd’s and console games which are all sourced and saved from landfill the same way our books are. We are constantly expanding our catalogue and any publishers who are not yet on-boarded with us can contact us here to discuss how we can start supplying customers their titles.

Book for Book

Our mission is to create a new model of retail, starting with the way people buy books. We want people to understand that when they buy something as simple as a book, they can do it from a business that supports projects that they themselves support and believe in. So every time a book is purchased, customers know that something as simple as this is having a positive impact on someone else, somewhere where it is needed.

In 2019, we launched a formal commitment to donate a book to one of our global literacy projects for every book purchased through AwesomeBooks.com. Though we had been supporting projects and donating books since our inception, we decided it was time to formally embed this into our business model and make sure customers knew our commitment was written in and guaranteed with every purchase they made from us. That’s why we produced this promotion to let all of our customers know. We’ll be updating all our customers on the latest projects we are supporting and the results they are delivering on our projects page here.

We can’t wait to serve you and change the way you buy books. If you want to get involved in any of our projects or learn more about them, feel free to contact us here. We love talking about what we do.

Awesome Sustainibility

As part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, we never, ever throw away a book. Any book we cannot find a proper home for is recycled to serve new benefits. Below is our Infograph on our Awesome statisitics we have achieved over the years. These numbers are only increasing...

Awesome Campaigns

GHANA SCHOOLS BOOK DONATION

In 2011, we visited the Afigya Kwabre District in Kumasi, to donate over 20,000 books to High Schools and also build a community library READ MORE...

HASHIM WELFARE HOSPITAL

Over the years Awesome Books has been supporting the Hashim welfare hospital in Pakistan. The goal is to help fulfil an urgent need for quality, accessible health care. On average the hospital sees over 40,000 patients a year and READ MORE...

Awesome Books school literacy programme

At AwesomeBooks we love reading and know what a positive impact it can have on a Childs life. Back in 2010 we visited Ghana and in 2011 we gave books to schools in South Africa. READ MORE...