Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Showcasing GoneReading The Philanthropic e-commerce reading accessory site

Today I'm proud to once again showcase GoneReading, a philanthropic reading accessory e-commerce site. Founded and run by Brad Wirz.
This month I'd like to re-post my interview with Brad from a few months ago.
Please enjoy and please share and please when you consider purchasing reading accessories look at the wonderful selection from GoneReading. Also don't forget that The Reading Frenzy has it's very own coupon code so be sure and use DEBROCKS10 for a 10% discount off your entire GoneReading order.
Thank You!!

Brad with some friends from Honduras

Brad, Hi welcome to The Reading Frenzy.
Please tell my readers how Gone Reading came about.
Thanks for having me Debbie!  I can actually remember the exact day that things were put into motion.  I spent 20+ years in an exhausting, whirlwind of a career as a marketing executive that had me flying around the country 3-4 days each week, every week of the year.  One day in February of 2010, I ended up curled in the fetal position in a hotel room in New York City.  I’ll spare you the details on exactly how I got there, but needless to say I was ready for a career change.  I called my wife and told her I was “done” with the industry and that within a year I would be doing something completely different, something philanthropic.
By a total coincidence I had previously committed to going on a volunteer trip to Central America.  So a few weeks after my breakdown in New York, I found myself in the middle of the Honduran jungle, several hours drive from anything remotely resembling civilization.  I spent close to a week working with other volunteers to help build a small library.  Nothing fancy, about the size of typical Starbucks location, large enough for a few thousand books.
We learned that this would be the first library for hundreds of miles, the only such resource for hundreds of villages – most of whom had basically zero access to books, That really got me thinking about books, my own personal love of reading, and just how I could spread the magic of reading across the developing world.
It took about nine more months to formulate the plan (and to build up the nerve to actually quit my job), but that’s how GoneReading came into being.

How long has Gone Reading been around?
We launched our first e-commerce site in 2011, but looking back on it now that was really an early, early beta-test to dip our toe into the business and start experimenting.  I’ve always been clear in stating that I’ve never done this before, so we made a lot of mistakes early on.  I would say that GoneReading as you see it now came into being in 2012.

What are some of the projects youre contributing to now?
We donate to two primary charitable partners in READ Global and Ethiopia Reads.  I urge your readers to check them out and support them with their own charitable giving.  At the end of last year we funded our first children’s library in Ethiopia (read about it here), and I anticipate we will fund a similar, if not larger, project towards the end of this year.  Like a lot of retailers, we earn almost 2/3 of our annual revenue in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so we won’t know the exact scale of our 2014 giving until then, but I would anticipate it will be larger this year than last.

What most surprises you about your life now vs. when you were in the corporate jungle?
It’s probably the range of emotions that I now experience, even within any given day.  I do miss having an IT department that I could call to swoop in and fix my technical problems.  That’s one of the few things I really miss, and technology issues can be unbelievably frustrating when you run your own business.  But on the other hand, GoneReading is immensely rewarding; both the donations we’re able to contribute, but also the heartfelt support we receive from people like you, Debbie, helping to spread the word, warm my heart on a daily basis.  Those uplifting emotions were not daily experiences in my old career!

Tell me where youd like Gone Reading to be in 5 years?
Our long-term goal is to earn $10 million+ in annual revenue, donating more than $1 million each year to our charitable partners.  That’s where we would like to be in five years.  We’re growing quickly, and our market – the 30% of adults in the U.S. that identify reading as their #1 hobby or personal interest – is thriving.  Avid readers tend to do really well in their life and careers (surprise, surprise!).  If we can continue to find and create great products that they want and need, I have no doubt we will get there.

Brad thank you for being my guest today.
Thank you Debbie!

Read all about Brad and GoneReading in the Huffington Post.

Learn More about GoneReading:

Interested in learning more about GoneReading?  Check out our Frequently Asked Questions, learn about our Philanthropic Mission and read about us In the News.
Do you blog?  Check out our page Just for Bloggers to learn how we can benefit one another.  Do you run a store or online marketplace?  Visit our Wholesale program page.
Any other questions?  Just Contact Us!

Below are some fantastic GoneReading items for sale:

Click HERE to go to the GoneReading site
and don't forget to use the coupon code
DEBROCKS10 for your discount
Thank you for your support!!


  1. I love how his company got started. I think we all come to a point in our life when we need a change for the better!

    1. Thanks Kindlemom for this comment and for the wonderfully gracious comment you made yesterday on Anna's blog xo

  2. Replies
    1. That's something coming from a philanthropic person like yourself Karen
      love you

  3. I adore GoneReading. I buy my book journals there and presents for my bookloving friends. Glad to see your post, Debbie.

    I stopped by after seeing Anna @ HerdingCatsBurningSoup's shout out. Nice to meet you.

    1. Thanks Sophia, for the comment your great support for GoneReading and wow isn't Anna Great! It's super to meet you too!
      See you around :)

  4. As a reader I have a soft spot for libraries. I'm from a small, provincial, and poor town in the Philippines and I have a dream of starting a reading library there coz literacy isn't my town's strongest suit so I can appreciate what this organization is trying to do. Great choice in spotlighting them :)

  5. It was neat to learn how it started and love that they donate.