The Next Chapters

In 2010 I put a presentation together for Indigo Books to explore some ideas with them about creating small book stores or kiosks in small community enterprises and local businesses which would have a limited inventory and include books from local authors and publishers as well as the latest bestsellers along with a terminal for people to order online.  I saw this as a way to improve the customer experience, increase customer visits, generate transaction revenue for the business or community, contribute to local community interests, and leverage the Indigo fulfillment system in the interests of the company and increase the contribution to a number of interests we have in common as communities of common enterprise, communities of common interest, and as a country in the publishing, distribution, and contribution of books to our knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of our world

The introduction below has been updated with information from the more current Read Between the Lines from the information I took from an earlier film, Writing on the Wall. What follows in The Next Chapters section is the same as My original presentation. I didn’t approach Indigo after I prepared this because I realized this could all be done by local community enterprises and local businesses on their own and Indigo, who has a commission system, would benefit without having to invest in making the idea possible. Some of the content in the introduction came from the Indigo website at the time.

The Next Chapter

What is the next chapter? Where have we come from? Where are we now? Where are we going? What stories are we creating? What stories could we be creating? What is the next chapter?

The next chapters are about how we change the way we see and do things, how we improve our ability to communicate and create connections with one another, and how we make creative community enterprise around our individual, community, and common human interests possible.

Creating a better world for ourselves lies in creating opportunities for people to learn, contribute, and create connections and relationships.

Read Between the Lines

  • 30% of Grade 3 students lack basic literacy skills. That means in a class of 26 kids, 8 are going to fall behind and are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • Over the past 25 years, funding for public school libraries has been drastically cut.
  • Thousands of school across Canada are in critical need of books
  • In 1970 Canadian schools budgeted to buy three books per child per year. Today school budgets allow for less than one third of a book per child.
  • 49% of Canadian adults have low literacy skills
  • A 1 % increase in literacy will add $32 billion to our economy
  • 30% of Ontario’s Grade 3 children fail to meet provincial reading standards.

“The imagination, metaphorically at least, is a muscle. When somebody gives you a book they are giving you raw code. They are saying, here, there are twenty six letters and a handful of punctuation marks and you can use them to build a world. It is going to start turning your brain on because you are making stuff happen. You are not passive. You are a contributor.

One of the amazing things that literature does is that it puts us inside somebody else’s head. We experience their emotions and that is enormous because it gives us, at a very young age the leap that tells us that other people matter.”

Neil Gaiman
Author, Coraline

“Because you are engaging with fictional characters, what you need to do to in order to understand the story is to understand the people. The better we could become at that then it’s likely the better our societies would be. So reading fiction isn’t just about entertainment. It’s a way of improving and practicing our thinking about what’s at the very centre of human life.”

Keith Oatley
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

“If you cannot read, you are automatically disenfranchised. Without literacy you are not part of society. You are simply on the outside.”

Neil Gaiman
Author, Coraline

  • 80% of prisoners are functionally illiterate
  • Every year teachers spend over $200 million of their own money to buy books and learning materials.
  • Thousands of public schools across Canada are still in severe need of funding for their libraries.

“Most people just assume that everybody learns to read in our schools. But it is just not true. We need to aspire to where 100% of our kids are rich, confident readers by the time they complete third grade. And nothing short of that ambition is good enough.”

Heather Riesman
Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

We can fix this problem. We can make Canadian kids the best readers in the world.

We just need to decide it matters.

Read Between the Lines – YouTube
Books Make a Difference
Functional Illiteracy

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

What we know

We are in a crisis and may be losing entire generations to forms of illiteracy that will prevent them from surviving in the future.

What we are doing and how we are contributing

The love of reading foundation provides funding for ten school libraries each year. Our interest is to fund as many schools as we can with the resources we have.

What our interests are

Our real interest is to make this crisis so clear in the minds of our community and government that it will be addressed. It is an injustice to be robbing our children of their ability to thrive and contribute to our society in the future. Open a world of possibilities for children.

The Next Chapters Story


What We Know

What we know about reading

What human beings value most are pleasure, utility, and creativity. Reading contributes to what we value, – the pleasure of the experience, a contribution to our learning, and ideas to excite our imagination and creativity.

What we know about literature

Stories are how we learn. Stories are how we connect with one another around common experiences, common ideas, and common interests. Stories are how we contribute to changing the way we see things, think about things, and do things.

Stories carry ideas. We remember stories. Stories create word of mouth. We retell stories. Stories are how we express ourselves and how we contribute what we know to others. Stories are our history and our heritage. Stories are our culture. Stories create our culture. Stories create community. Our cultural and human development lies in our stories.

What we know about the art of language

Words communicate who we are, how we feel, and what we think. Words guide our attitude and our behaviour. Words are how we communicate what we see and how we see things and what we do and how we do things. Words create our reality and our possibilities. Words are how others come to know us and how we come to know them. The art of language is the art of creating our life. We choose our life when we choose our words.

How we are known

We are known by what we say and do and how we say and do things. We are known by our story. Our story creates our enterprise. Our story creates community around our enterprise. Our story creates our future.

What is our story?

What are our interests? What communities of interest are we contributing to? What are we doing? What do we contribute? How are we known by the communities of interest we contribute to, who contribute to us, and who benefit from what we do? What communities of interest would we like to contribute to? What community are we creating?

What are our interests?
  • To provide booklovers and those they care about with the most inspiring retail and online environments in the world for books and life-enriching products and services.
  • We exist to add joy to customers’ lives.
  • We anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.
  • Excellence matters in everything we do.
  • Success is only attainable through outstanding people working together in an open environment that promotes knowledge and growth.
  • Books, reading, and storytelling are an integral part of advancing society.
  • Innovation is the key to growth and can come from anyone, anytime.
  • We have a responsibility to give back to the communities in which we operate.
How are we known by the communities we serve?

How do you want to shop?

What communities of common interest do we serve?

People interested in becoming more informed, more connected, more able, more resourceful, and more enlightened, – more understanding and appreciative of life and human nature.

People interested in learning how to learn, learning how to respond to their experience, learning how to change, learning how to contribute to changing things, learning how to communicate, learning how to create relationships, and learning the art of creating.

What could we be known for?


What communities of interest could we serve?

People and enterprises contributing to our common interests in increasing literacy, creating more opportunities for people to read, and improving our ability to learn from our stories, tell our stories, and create stories.

People and enterprises interested in creating a better future for our children.

People and enterprises interested in exciting interest in reading in our children and in creating opportunities for everyone to increase their ability to experience, learn, contribute, and create a better life for themselves and others.

What could our interests be?

Increasing understanding and appreciation for the contribution of literacy, reading, stories, and the art of language to our individual, community, and common human interests

What could we be known for?

Creating possibilities

What possibilities could we contribute to creating?

Creating a world where everyone has access to books which could contribute to their ability to pursue their interests, create a better future for themselves, and contribute to creating a better world for everyone.

What literacy contributes to our economy

A 1% increase in literacy will add $32 billion to our economy. How much of that could be in increased book sales?

The Next Chapters

Creating a better future for our children


Centre for Literacy
Centre for Literature
Creating Community with Stories
Community Children Centre
ArtsDirect Kids
Imagining the Possibilities
Creating Our Learning Systems
Writers and Ideas
Centre for Creative Storytelling
Creating Opportunities for Children