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Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:07 PM

Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/boy-asks-mailman-junk-mail-books-read_55b6b002e4b0224d88338ba4?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read; Mailman Responds Spectacularly

Ryan Grenoble
News Editor, The Huffington Post

Posted: 07/28/2015 12:55 PM EDT | Edited: 2 hours ago

Twelve-year-old Mathew Flores is a bit different from the rest of us. He loves junk mail.

Until recently, advertisements were the only reading materials available to the boy. Flores loves reading so much that he approached his mailman in a Salt Lake City suburb on Friday to ask if he could have any junk mail.The strange question prompted the mailman, Ron Lynch, to ask why. Lynch detailed Flores' response in a heartbreaking Facebook post afterward.

"Today while delivering mail to his apartment complex, I saw him reading ads, and then he asked me if I had any extra mail he could read," Lynch wrote. "He told me his wish is to have books to read. I told him the library had many, but he said they don't have a car, and couldn't afford the bus."

Lynch then asked his Facebook friends if they could spare some books for Flores:

"Most kids his age want electronics! It's great to see his desire, and you should have seen him beam when I said I could help!"

snip

Those interested in sending books may ship them to:

Mathew Flores
c/o Sandy Post Office
8850 S 700 E
Sandy, UT 84070

59 replies, 5169 views

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Reply Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read (Original post)
SoCalDem Jul 2015 OP
Stargazer99 Jul 2015 #1
abakan Jul 2015 #2
SoCalDem Jul 2015 #4
abakan Jul 2015 #10
teach1st Jul 2015 #5
abakan Jul 2015 #11
madamvlb Jul 2015 #31
abakan Jul 2015 #39
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2015 #37
abakan Jul 2015 #42
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2015 #44
abakan Jul 2015 #46
dixiegrrrrl Jul 2015 #49
msongs Jul 2015 #3
SoCalDem Jul 2015 #6
csziggy Jul 2015 #9
Phentex Jul 2015 #16
csziggy Jul 2015 #19
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2015 #38
csziggy Jul 2015 #43
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2015 #45
csziggy Jul 2015 #48
JDPriestly Jul 2015 #29
csziggy Jul 2015 #7
TBF Jul 2015 #55
csziggy Jul 2015 #57
TBF Jul 2015 #59
procon Jul 2015 #8
SoCalDem Jul 2015 #12
abakan Jul 2015 #20
Octafish Jul 2015 #13
ohheckyeah Jul 2015 #14
SoCalDem Jul 2015 #15
ohheckyeah Jul 2015 #17
emsimon33 Jul 2015 #26
dbackjon Jul 2015 #18
SoCalDem Jul 2015 #21
Squaredeal Jul 2015 #22
matt819 Jul 2015 #23
Retrograde Jul 2015 #28
chillfactor Jul 2015 #52
Thor_MN Jul 2015 #53
TBF Jul 2015 #58
emsimon33 Jul 2015 #24
dembotoz Jul 2015 #25
Jack-o-Lantern Jul 2015 #27
YOHABLO Jul 2015 #30
elias49 Jul 2015 #32
bettyellen Jul 2015 #34
SoCalDem Jul 2015 #35
Zorra Jul 2015 #33
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2015 #36
dbackjon Jul 2015 #40
AngryAmish Jul 2015 #41
avaistheone1 Jul 2015 #54
JI7 Jul 2015 #47
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2015 #50
martalcd Jul 2015 #51
DirkGently Jul 2015 #56

Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:16 PM

1. The whole world needs to be informed how crappy this country has become under conservative ideals

One of the richest countries in the world but we cannot take care of our own....what a poor excuse for a so-called Christian nation

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:17 PM

2. I want to send books..

I'm packing my house to move and I have many books that will not make the trip. Having never been a parent or around children, I have no idea what is approbate for a twelve year old. Do you have any suggestions?

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Response to abakan (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:27 PM

4. I don't have any boys left.. They grew up :)

Before you send books, please note that he lives in an apartment. I suppose he's being deluged with books.. A bus pass would get him to the library I'm thinking about that one

My boys liked sports & car books when they were younger

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:41 PM

10. Bus pass!

That's the ticket! Thanks

Card sent! Should be there in 3 to 5 days.

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Response to abakan (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:27 PM

5. A list from Good Reads

Here's a list of books for sixth graders so you can get an idea. A 12-year-old who can read well, can read adult books that aren't too conceptually challenging or that require adult concepts. At age 12, I read and understood "Manchild in a Promised Land," although I wouldn't recommend that a child without parental permission.

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7157.Best_Books_For_Sixth_Graders

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Response to teach1st (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:46 PM

11. Thanks I looked at the books I have...

With the exception of one coffee table book, they are a little advanced for a 12 year old. I think a bus pass is the best idea. I think I'll send him the big book so he can get an education too.

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Response to abakan (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:39 PM

31. Don't forget to ask the USPS for a book rate...

It's cheaper.

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Response to madamvlb (Reply #31)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:02 PM

39. Thank You I will.

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Response to abakan (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:59 PM

37. I'm the wrong one to ask

 

I was reading Dostoevsky at 12

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #37)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:06 PM

42. Some of us just have to make do with average...

no snark intended...

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Response to abakan (Reply #42)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:36 PM

44. None taken...

 

I hope none was taken with my post.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #44)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:52 PM

46. Never crossed my mind. All I could think, was good for you, but some would interpret that wrong.

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Response to abakan (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 07:09 PM

49. Have you thought of maybe donating them locally?

The library?
Your..or...a...church?

From the news story at the link the child is getting tons of books.

It is hard to tell what age group likes what books, cause kids read at different levels even at the same age.

I give my books to our library, they use some for the annual sale to raise money, others to give away.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:25 PM

3. no public libraries or schools in Salt Lake City? nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:28 PM

6. No money for a bus pass..& no car in the family

Poor kids have fewer options

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:39 PM

9. The kid has no transportation and it's the middle of the summer so school is out

I would love to see the library system set up some sort of transportation for children who have no way to get there to have access especially over the summer. Perhaps they could coordinate with the school system to use school buses and have weekly trips to the library for kids that need them.

As I posted in another message, the Salt Lake County Library System has a program for homebound people called Library at Your Door - maybe that could be extended to children who don't have a way to get to a library. http://www.slcolibrary.org/gl/forms/libraryAtYourDoorForm.htm

Bookmobiles used to serve this purpose, but apparently they are no longer used to reach out to the community. But the people who can't afford a bus pass also can't afford computers or tablets for ebooks.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:56 PM

16. Some of my happiest memories were of the bookmobile...

we had a teeny little school library and it was such a treat when the bookmobile came and let us get "new" books to check out. I wish they still existed, too.

My mom was a teacher. When she gave books to kids in 4th grade, sometimes it was the first book they had ever owned.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #16)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:03 PM

19. My husband worked in his library's book mobile when he was a teen

The library in our town was too small to support a bookmobile so I was lucky my parents took us in every week. By the time I was twelve I'd read every book I wanted in the public library and had exhausted every school library I had access to. Then our library hooked up with a system and got new books in every three months for short term loans. it was WONDERFUL! Fresh books every few months!

While I can understand libraries not being able to afford bookmobiles anymore, there needs to be some program to reach out to areas that have a lack of transportation so that the children can have free access to books - and the other services that libraries can provide, such as computers.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #19)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:01 PM

38. "not being able to afford bookmobiles anymore"

 

That sums up everything that is wrong with the country. We can afford aircraft carriers and weapons systems, but we can't afford things that enrich people's lives.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #38)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:08 PM

43. I'm not sure how much the budget alone had to do with bookmobiles

Being cut in most libraries.

For instance, here in Leon County, Florida, the library system has opened a lot more branches and cut bookmobiles because the access is now wider with fixed locations. Another factor is that more people are using ebooks and those are available to many people who cannot or do not want to go to a library branch.

Libraries all over are getting huge budget cuts and I hate that. But with the decreasing emphasis on education and general knowledge it's not surprising.

If I could direct where my tax money goes I would pay for schools (even though I have no children), libraries, internet access for all, and alternative energy sources. Not one penny for war or machines for war - I'd want at least one third of the defense budget to go towards caring for our veterans and soldiers!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #43)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:40 PM

45. Yeah, probably varies from location to location...

 

I remember the book mobile- I went to elementary school in a small town. I also remember the Scholastic Book Club (I think that is what they were called). Your teacher would pass out their pamphlet, you would pick and pay for your books, and shortly after they would arrive. Never had money for a lot, but I was usually able to order a book or two. I think this is the modern day equivalent.

http://store.scholastic.com/search/search/NR1114?N=4502+4518

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #45)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 07:00 PM

48. We never had money for Scholastic Books

But I didn't regret it - most of the books were way below my reading level since the teachers wouldn't let us order over our grade or age. By fifth grade I was reading at eighth grade level and was allowed to check out books from the Young Adults section at the public library. By sixth grade I had read all the books I wanted from that area and was given free run.

What books we didn't check out of the library came from Mom's shopping at Goodwill. She not only found every book on the school's reading list she had some book that gave recommended classics for college preparation and looked for those too. She also bought best sellers - once she found an entire group of James Bond books and gave them to me to read since I enjoyed the Man from UNCLE - she didn't realize that they had <***GASP***> sex scenes in them. I was about ten when I read them.

Later when finances were a little better Mom ordered remaindered books from Edward Hamilton (http://www.hamiltonbook.com/online_catalogs). She'd get their newsprint catalogs, let us pick out books from it, and order what she could afford. Those were the only "new" books we ever got when I was a kid.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #16)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:20 PM

29. Same here. We should still have those.

I love watching my youngest granddaughter read a book. She is less than 2, and she grabs a book, puts it down on the floor, opens it, and settles in with a look of rapture on her face staring, staring at the pictures and then turning pages with such joy, such delight. In between, she looks up at you and just giggles and talks and is so happy. I have worked with young children and babysat and raised my own, and I have never seen a child love books like my youngest granddaughter.

And apparently at day care, she distributes books to other children. She seems to think that is her mission in life.

So I can believe that a child of 12 would be reading ads in the absence of books. I wish him many wonderful hours with books. What a window on the world they are. I love them too.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:31 PM

7. While I applaud the effort to send books to Mathew

Why doesn't someone get him to the public library in his community? Some group could organize library trips for every kid in the neighborhood.

Salt Lake County has a decent library system and there is a branch in Sandy, Utah: http://www.slcolibrary.org/gl/glal/librarysandy.htm

Or the library system could allow the child to use their Library at Your Door program:
Salt Lake County Library Services Library at Your Door program is available to Salt Lake County residents who are homebound and unable to visit any of the library locations in person.

Library at Your Door participants may request a variety of materials, including books, large print books, audiobooks, music, movies, and more. eBooks and eAudiobooks are also available.

Items are mailed to the patron at the library's expense and can be returned, at no cost to the patron, via the U.S. Postal Service, by a Meals On Wheels driver, friends or family.
http://www.slcolibrary.org/gl/forms/libraryAtYourDoorForm.htm


My parents could not afford to buy books for four daughters, especially enough to keep me busy. We visited our local public library every week as long as any of us were at home. I read so much that I read every single book I was interested in that that tiny library had before I left for college. So I am a very strong supporter of libraries and giving kids access to them.

Rather than just keep one child supplied with books, I'd rather donate to a program to make sure that many children have access to the library system.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 30, 2015, 01:18 PM

55. We had a tiny library in our town of 400 -

but the county bookmobile that traveled around was great! This was 35 years ago ... not sure if such things still exist or where they got their books. It came right to the school which was fantastic because that library was very small as well.

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Response to TBF (Reply #55)

Thu Jul 30, 2015, 01:25 PM

57. Some communities still have bookmobiles

And they are only a little over 100 years old:

A History of the Bookmobile

Biblioburro: The Donkey Library tells the story of one man's journey to bring books to children in the Colombian countryside. Throughout history, bookmobile founders have often had a similar goal — bringing literacy to the masses.

Inspired by reports of small mobile libraries in 19th-century England, librarian Mary Titcomb launched the first bookmobile in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Titcomb's goal was to extend the reach of the Washington County Free Library in Maryland by starting a book transport system to rural communities. She developed a horse-drawn library wagon to send boxes of books to nearby general stores and post offices. By 1904, 66 deposit stations had sprung up to dispense books throughout the county. In 1912, the first motorized bookmobiles were born, and they transported books not only to rural areas, but also to local schools and senior centers.



http://www.pbs.org/pov/biblioburro/bookmobile.php

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Response to csziggy (Reply #57)

Thu Jul 30, 2015, 01:30 PM

59. Very cool - not surprising that it all started with a librarian :) nt

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:37 PM

8. That's so heartbreaking.

Utah isn't exactly a poor state, why aren't they expanding a comprehensive library program to get books out to kids, or anyone who wants to read? California has a wonderful library system. There are well stocked book mobiles that travel around rural areas and places in town that don't have a nearby library, and they will bring any books, magazines, movies and music you ask for. We also have Books By Mail where you can get books delivered and returned for free if you have troubles getting around.

Thanks for the link, that little boy is going to get some lovely new books.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:48 PM

12. Bus pass info

Sheez.. they are expensive


https://www.rideuta.com/buyapass/

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #12)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:06 PM

20. I got a fare pay card

You put how much money you want to put on it. The card it's self cost $3.00

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:48 PM

13. The USPS is TOPS!

Please send books to:

Mathew Flores
c/o Sandy Post Office
8850 S 700 E
Sandy, UT 84070


All he wants to do is read.

"El que lee mucho, y handa much, ve mucho y sabe mucho." -- Miguel de Cervantes

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:53 PM

14. Would it be

appropriate to send him a Kindle? I don't have an email address to register it to for him but he might have one or be able to get one.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 03:55 PM

15. If they cannot afford a bus pass, they probably don't have internet access

Don't kindles need internet access?

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #15)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:01 PM

17. You're right -

I didn't think it through very well. I got a Kindle Fire after having a stroke so I could do more than read in bed and have the older Kindle that I'm not using.

He just wouldn't have to worry about space if he could use it. But physical books have their own appeal.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #17)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:07 PM

26. Many places have free wifi

A neighbor might also have it. Through Bookbub, he can get at least one free Kindle book a day.

I think that this is a great idea, but enclose a note suggesting Bookbub.com. He can also download books from the public library for free if he has a library card.

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #15)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:02 PM

18. To download the books - wifi. Can be done anywhere with wifi

 

Last edited Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:58 PM - Edit history (1)

I downloaded all 4,750 pages of the first five volumes of A Song of Fire and Ice and it took 30 seconds.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #18)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:07 PM

21. There is probably a McDonalds near him

hmmmm.. If someone does not steal it from him, that might be an option

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:09 PM

22. No books when I was a kid either

I lived in a Levittown community out in Nowheresville, NJ. My parents couldn't afford to buy books. No public library there either. The new Catholic school I attended didn't have any library. My dad would scoop up the used daily newspapers on the train ride home for my New Yorker mom and me to read. They had a lot of great stories in them those days (Herald Tribune, Journal-American, World Telegram & Sun and of course, the Daily News, with their gory photos, etc.) I've always liked reading newspapers ever since. When I was old enough to ride a bicycle, I would bike to the real town next door during the summer months, which had a public library. And a community pool too, where I learned to swim. My family moved there when I was 12, where my younger siblings didn't have it as hard as I did as a young kid.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 04:58 PM

23. I hate to sound like I'm going to sound

But I don't buy this.

There has to be something more to this story. Granted, if the boy lived somewhere rural, sure, I could appreciate the difficulty. But in a suburb of what I think of as a relatively affluent city, with with social and other services available, there are options.

If I'm wrong, fine. But this just sounds so 1930s.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #23)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:15 PM

28. suburbs tend to sprawl

and are not friendly to young pedestrians, or even young bicyclists. And library branches may not be close for everyone. Not knowing the situation, I can't say what's happening here.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #23)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 08:05 PM

52. go to the link posted and watch the joy in this boy's eyes.....

there always has to be one party-pooper in a heart-warming thread...and in this thread...you're it...

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Response to matt819 (Reply #23)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 09:28 PM

53. I used to ride a bike 7 miles one way to get to the closest library.

 

Probably when in 4th-6th grade. Different time then (1970s) and most of it was on a barely used gravel road.

I once read the newspaper that was used to wrap smoked fish when my grandparents took us for a weekend. I can relate to the kid.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 30, 2015, 01:28 PM

58. I get annoyed by what I call the pro-austerity PR -

the little houses that are so awesome for all of us, for example, while millionaires own multiple mansions ... but this story looks like it could be legit. If you watch the news story the kid is obviously living in an apartment complex. Perhaps a single mom working hard without money for extras? Definitely plausible.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:04 PM

24. K&R

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:05 PM

25. in walkerstan lots of public schools are losing librarians

wife who works in sp ed at a private school built her own class library out of her own pocket.
i did her ebay purchases thru my account and my god....

pretty damn disgusting

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:07 PM

27. Republicans?? A "Christian" country?? Caring for the least among us?? BWAAHAHAHAHA!

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:35 PM

30. I'm getting together some books to send him. Poor guy will so swamped with books

 

he'll have to open his own library. You know electronics have their purpose, but the mere act of opening a good book and getting lost in the pages is still delightful.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:41 PM

32. I hope they live in a good-sized apt or house.

 

Kind of risky putting the boy's address on the forum, don't you think?
I'd be glad to send him a couple hundred books that I won't read again. A few more people like me and there may be a problem at 8850 S 700 E.
Just saying...

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Response to elias49 (Reply #32)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:46 PM

34. They are being sent in care of him to the Post Office

 

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Response to elias49 (Reply #32)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:47 PM

35. That's the post office address

My guess is that they will figure out a way to distribute the books

No doubt, he will receive waaaaaay too many to fit into a small apartment..

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:43 PM

33. Recommend!


for kindness

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 05:54 PM

36. ..

 

..

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:02 PM

40. Utah boy reading junk mail gets thousands of books after mailman's plea goes viral

 

http://7online.com/society/boy-reading-junk-mail-gets-thousands-of-books-after-mailmans-plea-goes-viral/885910/

"You know, 10, 20, 30 of my friend's might give him some books," he said. "He might end up with 50 or 60 books."

But his plea went viral.

"It's gone from there," he said. "I've heard from the UK, from Australia, from India."

People have already gone to Mathew's home.

"They said these are books for you, and I thought they were mistaken," he said. "But they were for me."

And recently, Lynch made a personal delivery of more books to add to Mathew's growing collection.

Mathew says he wants to read every book.

"It's super fun and it's interesting," he said. "Plus it gets you smarter."

He also plans to share them with other kids too.

"I don't even know," he said. "I'm just super happy."

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:02 PM

41. If someone has an old bike, mail it to the kid.

 

Plus a really good lock.

I grew up and my folks gave me a bike and a library card. Until I was 13 and got a job, it was library in the morning, pool in the afternoon.

Summers were nice. Conan books. Star Trek books. Dickens. Encyclopedia Brown.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #41)

Thu Jul 30, 2015, 09:17 AM

54. k&r

 

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 06:56 PM

47. there are many free books on sites like gutenberg

If someone can get him an ebook he would have many great classics and other books available.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 07:36 PM

50. update - he's got 350 books so far

 

?oh=944213e619a62be0b9824132a680d12e&oe=55BB9324

Lynch has been contacted by people from as far away as Australia and India, hoping to send books to the incredibly deserving young man. Mathew's already received about 350 books, but with many more expected to arrive in coming days, he's prepared to open his own little lending library for his friends. Seriously, kid. You're making us all cry at work now.

If you're ready to really turn on the water works, check out the video up top to see the joy in Mathew's eyes when he shows off his new collection. He better get that library up and running because soon he'll have enough copies of the Harry Potter series to read it simultaneously with everyone he knows.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Books-pour-in-from-around-the-world-for-boy-who-6412850.php

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 07:49 PM

51. Steve and I just sent him eight books...

From Powell's, and we were glad to do it. I may go through my own shelves and find some good stuff to send him as well.

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