Barnes & Noble, Doing A Noble Thing!

Louise & Leonard Riggio

I’m that  person who doesn’t have much desire to buy from big box stores or major corporations. But, the reality is, it’s almost impossible to avoid them. So, if you gotta, then you gotta do business with those who give something back to those who support them.

Most of the books I read are purchased at yard sales for less than $1. I don’t like getting books from the library because you have to read them on their schedule and not your own. I remember paying a library fine of almost $50 when I was in college. In the 60s that was a fortune and it made a believer out of me, pay attention to the return dates.

Recently I purchased one of the new computer tablets which also doubles as an e-reader. Part of the deal was a coupon from Barnes & Nobel for a couple of free books. So, I downloaded and read Bill Clinton’s new book, Back to Work. It’s really a neat way to get your reading in. You buy the book, it becomes part of your personal online

library at B&N and downloadable to whatever device you wish. So, I have the book on my tablet, my laptop, and my iPhone. Regardless of which device I have with me, I can pull up the book and pick up exactly where I left off.

Couple of weeks ago I saw a news segment about the CEO of B&N, Leonard Riggio, and some of the charitable work he, and his wife Louise, are engaged in. What most impressed me was their involvement in trying to protect and restore the vitality of New Orleans following hurricane Katrina’s destruction. The Riggeos committed $20 million to establish Project Home Again with the goal of replacing 101 destroyed homes in the Gentilly district of New Orleans.

In November, 2011 the project reached its goal with the 101st set of residents being given the keys to their new home. The Riggeos also entered a partnership with Rooms To Go to see that the new homes were completely furnished. The recipients of these new homes are mostly people vital to the social infrastructure of the city, teachers, social workers, medical workers, etc.

Since my first visit to New Orleans in the early 1990s I’ve felt a special affinity. I’ve been back many times, the last being in February, 2006 after the hurricane. Few things have tugged at my emotions like seeing what the people of our gulf coast have had to endure. It warms me to see the generosity of people like the Riggios and I’m pretty sure I know where my future e-book purchases will be made. Just one way I can say thank you.

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