On May 18, 2016, the publisher’s actual birthday, Dover donated a percentage of every purchase made at their website to help RIF provide free books, motivational activities, and learning resources to help youngsters read, learn, and grow. Marking their 50th anniversary this year, RIF has already distributed more than 412 million books to 40 million children.
“Since both companies have reached major milestones this year, we thought it was natural to unite for an important cause,” states Kristine Anderson, Dover’s Vice President of Marketing. “Dover was founded in 1941 by Hayward Cirker who firmly believed that great books should be available to all readers at affordable prices. And introducing children to the joys of reading was also a top priority.”
“Reading Is Fundamental was delighted to partner with Dover Publications to raise funds for books for children,” noted Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “With the $5,000 donation, we will be able to get many books into the hands of kids who need them most.”
The Reading Is Fundamental donation is just one way that Dover is commemorating its 75th anniversary. The “Share Your Dover Story” contest gave loyal readers the chance to offer a personal recollection about why they love the publisher’s books and how they have enriched their lives. Over 800 people entered and the grand prize winner was awarded a $75 dollar shopping spree at the Dover website — second and third places won $50 shopping sprees.
First Place Winner: Kimberly Catlett from Louisville, KY
“Dover has been part of my family now for five generations. My grandma always got her crochet books from Dover. My Nannie use to order me paper dolls when I was a kid. When my children were little — they are now grown with children of their own — I would order them coloring and paper doll books. I love Dover’s ghost stories, and still have all of them. As my children got older, I became a school bus driver in a county where you have the same kids on the bus from kindergarten to 12th grade. And trust me, I got very attached to my kids. I always had a chest of the little coloring or sticker books for their birthdays. And I made them a Christmas stocking every year filled with candy, fruit, Christmas carols, and always a specifically chosen Dover book for each child. As the years went by and the number of the children grew more and more until I had almost 50 kids on my bus, I never had to stop giving the books because they were always affordable. I have long since retired and just a couple of years ago, I ran into one of ‘my kids’ and he remembered me and the books! I walked away with the biggest smile on my face, all thanks to Dover!”
Second Place Winner: David Schaeffer from Plainview, NY
“Our lives changed one night over 40 years ago when our Dad brought home our first Dover book: The Mathematical Recreations of Lewis Carroll: Pillow Problems and a Tangled Tale. Dad saw it at a bookstore in Penn Station and fell in love with it — so did we! We loved puzzles and games and of course knew Lewis Carroll as the author of Alice in Wonderland, but you cannot imagine our excitement at finding out that he also wrote books of math puzzles and we were actually holding one in our hands! Everything about the book, the beauty of the cover, the antique typeface of the text, the line drawings inside, the back that said ‘a Dover edition designed for years of use,’ enthralled us! The mini ‘Catalogue of Dover Books’ on the back pages was the hook that drew us deeper into the amazing world of Dover. Archimedes, Euclid, Einstein, Newton, Galileo — these are just a few of the many authors whose original works we were able to own thanks to Dover! Our Mom kindly sent away for the full Dover catalogues and it became a family ritual to order new Dover books every couple of months. My brother went on to major in mathematics in college, and I became a computer programmer. Throughout our schooling and our adult lives, anytime our enthusiasm waned or we questioned ourselves, it only took a memory of Dover books to revive our energy and dedication. To this day, one question we ask any new acquaintance to see if they might become a lifelong friend, is this: do you know Dover books? With love and thanks for all you have meant to our lives.”
Third Place Winner: Laura Christopher from Roseville, MN
“Dover has been the door to my discovery of art throughout history. As a child, my mother had many books printed by Dover that I would pour through and get lost in my head while turning the pages. Nothing for children was out at that time to expose us to the wonders of the Masters, architecture, design, and fashion from times past, but these books were captivating to me. When I got my first job at a collectible gift store, I got to open all of the shipments from Dover and be the first to see all of the new paper doll books and Victorian postcards which are incredible to this day! I would sit down on the floor and look at each one during my breaks and admire the attention to detail on all the famous people and fashion designer works depicted in them. I ended up spending a good portion of my checks on those paper dolls and also the coloring and sticker books, especially the Erté and the Ziegfeld Follies paper dolls! When I saw my first Dover Catalog, I used it to make my ‘wish list’ for birthdays or Christmas. By this time I was a young adult and had no idea that Dover also printed books on philosophy, psychology, and physics, three of my areas of interest. If I created the ideal publishing house, it would be Dover. I can’t thank Dover enough for combining works from the classic and progressive thinkers, creators, and artists of the world in an offering of books that I could afford and were easily accessible to me. I cannot imagine what would be missing in my mind and my life if I was not exposed to the Dover books that made such an impression on me from elementary school age. Thank you for opening my eyes to a world of creative beauty and of ‘what’s possible.’”
The publisher is also preparing for the second annual National Coloring Book Day on Tuesday, August 2. Sponsored by Dover, the most colorful day of the year is filled with a variety of fun-filled ways for colorists to enjoy their passion, from local coloring book parties and contests to downloading a free mini coloring book at the coloringbookday.com. Plus, colorists are encouraged to share their coloring pages with #nationalcoloringbookday.