Blog | The Intrinsic Value of a Good Book

November 06, 2023

The Intrinsic Value of a Good Book

If it was possible to tell a story about all the books that have passed through the hands of Friesens employee-owners over the years, the stories would fill many volumes, and those volumes would fill many libraries. Sometimes, though, it is worthwhile to focus on one or two projects that have a two-fold purpose:

  • To showcase an author for the good they do in their own community.
  • To be a reminder of the value books play in our lives and how they are appreciated.

It’s always a privilege to feature a printing project that brought so much joy to the author and exceeded his expectations.

We’re referring to the author James Bryan, and it was at the beginning of the year that we printed his book entitled The James River in Richmond: Your NEW Guide to Enjoying America’s Best Urban Waterway.

Mr. Bryan had an interesting goal for this book…to help make people’s lives better. So, it became a philanthropic project, with all net proceeds going towards noble causes. For example, he was able to donate five thousand books to sixteen different non-profit organizations such as Beyond Boundaries, which uses the books in its work in providing James River outings for persons with physical and cognitive disabilities, persons in recovery, wounded veterans, etc. The Autism Society of Central Virginia also uses the book in its James River outings for its clients, and the Richmond Public Library requested a large quantity of books so they could donate to other libraries throughout the region.

Mr. Bryan also took into consideration the many Latino families within Central Virginia by ensuring his book included a 27-page Spanish-language section. This will enable these families to read in their native language information about wading and swimming, safety issues, children’s activities, fishing advice and locations, annual festivals, descriptions of specific places to enjoy the James River, and more!

It’s a gift that keeps on giving, because if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Bryan has donated all sales proceeds to a variety of non-profit organizations; to date over $15,000 has been donated to twelve different organizations.

In a letter to Friesens sales manager Doug Symington and sales representative Paul Cibulka, John Bryan concluded with a humorous anecdote and a special note of appreciation to Friesens:

There is an unanticipated bonus. The book is a guide to our river here in Richmond, and several weeks ago I accidentally dropped a copy of the book into the river. The current caught it, and it took me several minutes with a long stick to retrieve the book…drenched throughout. I took the book home and let it dry for three days, after which it was almost as good as new. The pages didn’t dissolve or stick together, the print didn’t run, the binding stayed together. So now I tell people not to be afraid of dropping the book in the water when they are enjoying the river!

Everyone…I mean everyone…loves the look and feel of the book and compliments the printing! Thanks again for a printing job that makes me even more proud of the book!