I found this amazing and inspiring article on the Yahoo!News Book/Publishing News page, which lately is about as full of good news as the Dow Jones industrial average. A young man in Albuquerque raised over $6000.00 to help build a library in Ethiopia as part of a nonprofit charity’s efforts to improve literacy in that country. Ethiopia Reads has built 30 libraries and aims for 100 by 2010.
Tobyn Pulice raised the money by selling “Shout Outs” for .25c during morning announcements at school, which brought in $1800, and then helped organize a community golf tournament.
Ethiopia Reads was founded by Yohannes Gebregeorgis, who grew up with a complete lack of books to the point that “he can remember each one he read until he was 19 years old.”
Pretty awesome, right? Ok, now for the fun section. This is the part that nearly knocked me out with the giggles:
He recalled a British teacher delivering textbooks to his school in her Volkswagen, a Peace Corps volunteer introducing him to American literature and reading his first fiction book, called “Love Kitten,” cover to cover.
“It was the first book I read outside school. I was also young at that time, 19, and I was in love and it was a romance book and that was the magic,” he said. “That was what did it.”
Aw, I thought to myself, a romance. He thought it was magic.
Until I Googled the title – holy shit. Get a load of the cover blurb! “Can a Young Woman’s Body Restore a Husband’s Fading Youth? He hated her guts because she was his Father’s wife.”
AWWRIIIIGHT! Let’s hear it for the Peace Corps and their pulp novel tour!