Booksgiving. An experiment.

Last September when Furiously Happy came out I was so terrified that people wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t understand it, or would run away after realizing I’m quite a bit crazier than I ever let on.  But you stayed – for the most part – and then even more of you showed up, and now it’s February and Furiously Happy is still on the top 20 NYT list.  This is because of you.  You share quotes, and pictures of yourself reading it, and tell others that it helped and pass it on to people who you think will need it to understand you or to better understand themselves.  Every day I see people online sharing it and it makes such a difference to me and to the people who every day discover that they are so much less alone than they thought.bookplateforfuriouslyhappy

As a thank you I’d like to give you all a box full of live kittens but I don’t have that many kittens or boxes and also I don’t have your address, so instead today I’m giving out copies of Furiously Happy to people who haven’t been able to afford a copy.  If you’re struggling right now and you need a copy just make a wishlist with Furiously Happy on it.  Or if you have Furiously Happy but need someone to buy you another book to get you through a rough time then make a wish list with that book on it.  A book you loved as a kid.  A book to calm you, or revive you, or to read to children.

rory furiouslyhappyI’m going to give out 30 copies of my book.  If you need one I’m going to tell you how to do it.  And every time I do this sort of thing others want to get involved and help so if you want to give books to someone in need you can click on the wish lists in the comments section and send hope and stories and escape to lovely strangers.

Will this work?  No idea.  But let’s try.

Here are the rules:

  1.  If you’re in a rough place and need a book to transport you somewhere else make a BRAND NEW wish list with nothing on it but the book you want.  (Exception: If you have a kid who needs a book you can add that too.)
  2. Here’s how you make a wish list:  Under “Your Lists” on the right, top side of Amazon select “Create a list”.  Choose “Wish list” and name it something like “The book I really need right now” and choose “Public”.  Then click “Create list”.  Now add a book to your list by going to the book and clicking the “add to list” button on the bottom right.  Now here’s the most important thing that everyone forgets to do.  You have to assign a shipping address to that specific wish list or it won’t go to you.  So click on the wish list and click on “public” and it’ll take you to “List settings”.  Click “view details” and where it says “shipping address” add yours.  (Your city will be shown to others but not your full address.)  Then save changes.  Now leave a comment with a link to your wish list.  Click here for my sample wish list so you’ll know what one looks like.  I have about 20 books listed on it for inspiration if you don’t know exactly what you want.  In your comment say which book you want in case someone specifically wants to buy you that book.  Feel happy.
  3. Here’s how you buy a book for a stranger.  Click on their link.  Choose a book.  Select their name so it goes to their address.  If it doesn’t give you the option of picking their name it means they didn’t add a shipping address so delete what’s in your cart and go to the next person.  Send a story to someone in need.  Feel happy.

The only rule is that this is just for books.  No gift cards or clothes or anything else because it gets out of hand really quickly.  Just a simple book to take you away from the world and help you find new ones.

And as always, thank you.  Thank you for supporting my words and listening and passing them on to others.  I’m hesitantly starting book 3 right now and you’re giving me strength to keep writing even when I doubt myself.  I owe you one.  Or 30.

UPDATED: Here are screen shots of what you should see while making a wishlist and add a shipping destination because it’s really easy to mess up.

Create a list under “Your lists”.

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Make it a wish list, name it and make it public.

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After you click “create list” click on the “public” button below:

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Click “view details” to add your shipping address to this wish list:

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Choose a shipping address and save changes.

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Now you’re ready to add something to your list.  Pick a book and choose the “add to list” button on bottom right side:

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If you have another wish list set as your default then you’ll need to click “move to another list.”

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Just click the list you’re going to share here.

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Now go to the wish list and copy the link and paste it into the comments.  That should work.  There might be a better way of doing it but that’s how I do it.

PS.  If you click on a wish list that says it’s empty that’s because the book has been bought for them.  🙂  If you leave a comment and don’t see it that’s because my blog puts people into moderation for a bit so I have to approve the comments and sometimes it takes me a minute.  It’ll show up.

PPS.  In the time it’s taken for me to write all of this a ton of books have been sent out to strangers (I prefer the term “strangelings”) on the internet and I haven’t even started giving away my own portion.  Thank you.  For asking and for giving.

PPPS.  It’s 10:30pm Texas time and when I try to buy people books it gives me an error message during checkout.  I’m just going to assume we broke amazon with our awesomeness.  If you get error messages too just try again in a bit.  Also, a ton of books have been sent out all over the world so you might have to search a lot to find a wish list that hasn’t been filled.  Keep looking though if you want to help.  New comments are approved every 15 minutes (until I go to sleep, at least) and they’re still coming in.

UPDATED, DAY 2:  Technically yesterday was Booksgiving but Amazon crashed for like 4 hours yesterday so I say we keep going today.  Besides, it’s a leap year so we get an extra day this month anyway.  Might as well use it for good.

Also, are you reading these comments?  Because you should be…

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I love you guys.  Off to buy more books…



2,045 thoughts on “Booksgiving. An experiment.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Nelly and anonymous, thank you SO much for the books. I have already laugh-cried halfway thru Jenny’s book, and look forward to attacking the other. I can’t wait to be on the other side of booksgiving-an-experiment next time.

  2. Nelly and anonymous, thank you SO much for the books. I have already laugh-cried halfway thru Jenny’s book, and look forward to attacking the other. I can’t wait to be on the other side of booksgiving next time!!!

  3. I’m still amazed that this is going on. I cannot thank you enough for not only sending my almost three year old daughter a couple of books but, for inspiring me. I’m giving up my only selfish indulgence. Which is coffee. Nothing fancy, just coffee from Trader Joe’s. Our budget is so tight I cannot remember the last time I had coffee shop coffee. However, that $15 or so a month can be used to buy a book for my little girl once in a while. If you could see her happiness with her new books, you’d probably be inspired to give something up too. But first, I want to try and pay it forward so I am going to have a look at the helpful list above and send a few books out to some of you wonderful people. I am so grateful. Thank you again and Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.


  4. My copy of FH arrived in the mail just now.

    I do try to remember that there is good in the world, and that there are kind and generous folk aplenty out there, even when things are going really badly for me and mine. This last week has been one helluva rough week for my household. But I have just now received a gift from a total stranger from who-knows-where, for no reason other than Just Because. I now I have a smile on my face, and somehow it’s a bit easier to recall that the world isn’t all doom-and-gloom.

    Thank you so much, Mystery Benefactor. And thank you Jenny, for organising this. You all rock, you know that? ALL of you.

  5. I got some books for my kids in the mail. No Furiously Happy, but that is more than okay. When I pulled The BFG out to start reading to my kids, both of them got huge eyes and said, that’s a long book, this is going to be so boring! (They both love reading, but this is the first chapter book we’ve done together). I read the first chapter and said okay, we’ll do a chapter a day because we have till summer for the movie to come out. They both begged me to keep reading. We read for 30 minutes before they started to get restless (They are 4 and 6). Then the next night for the same amount of time. Then my 6 year old picked up one of the other books we got and read it. I LOVE reading and have hoped that my kids would catch the bug. I think they have. Reading with my kids a million times better than reading to myself and seeing my kids read is even better. So thank you to the wonderful stranger that sent my kiddos some books. We love them and we will be paying it forward as soon as we can.

    -Brooke #1932

  6. Monica…’The Island in the Sky’ came today. Gary (the husboyfriend) was utterly speechless. he asked if we could get the gift card note laminated, so he could use it as a bookmark. He says thank you so much and plans on paying it forward.
    Serine23…Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! ‘The Monster at the End of this Book’ is my favorite. I am so excited to share it with my nieces and nephew.
    This whole experience has been amazing. Thanks everyone <3

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful person who gifted Furiously Happy to me. I spent today reading it cover to cover and it was wonderful and had me laughing out loud. I work in customer service and I see the worst in people almost every day. Seeing all these wonderful people sharing books makes me so happy and renews my faith in humanity as a whole.

  8. It’s so so late, it’s been weeks and I’m sure it’s over but I’ll throw my hat in the ring anyhow and hope this Amazon link works! It’s been a hell of a winter (daughter hospitalized over Christmas, me dealing with sudden severe mental health issues…trust me, I could use the laugh. 🙂

  9. I came home and saw the Amazon box on my porch and was completely baffled. I didn’t order anything? No body knows I’m here. So image my surprise when I opened the box and discovered not only the two books on my list but also a bonus book that my benefactor added as a special gift that they said, they had enjoyed this past year. Honestly I did not expect to receive any books when I added my link. For some cosmic reason I am usually the Susan Lucci of things (like I am nominated but never chosen). So from my deepest depths, I say Thank you, Today you made at LEAST ONE person very happy, YOU made my DAY! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much to the awesome woman who bought me An Everlasting Meal.
    It was unexpected, and in especially perfect timing. I know this book will help shape my life and mind in a time where great healing is needed. May you be blessed in whatever way you require!

  11. I just recieved the most amazing gift from the mail.. The two books that were on my list! Thank you very very much Kay from California, althought I’m very much worried now about the amount of sleep I’ll get the next days! I live in the very south of Brazil, in a very pretty (but with horrible traffic) island called Florianópolis. And since it’s summer, I might bring the books next time I go to one of our beaches! As soon as I get my paycheck I’ll send one gift too, because Booksgiving touched me very very much!

  12. Thank you wholeheartedly to the kind person who bought my children “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I had forgotten all about it, and when it arrived we were all so excited! It’s our bedtime book tonight!

  13. I wanted to thank Nell from the bottom of my hear. Nell, your gift and sweet note (my bookmark because I want to remember and honor you every time I open my book) came on a day where I was really low and feeling like my current situation is too hard. When my book arrived, I cried because it made my heart soar. My gift reminds me that I am not alone and that there are truly good people. I feel truly blessed Nell and I am sending you my love and gratitude. I know your daughter must be a wonderful 5th grade teacher because she clearly has an incredibly loving and compassionate Mom. Thank you Nell and know you will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Jenny for creating this and helping me survive through your humor and love of your fans.

  14. Lol, Nell, I just saw that my typo made it seem like I was thanking you from the bottom of my hear, when I meant it to say ❤️ But my hearing is also very grateful too!!!

  15. I wasn’t able to find the Amazon link to thank Greg for Cats in Paris and Renee for All the Light we Cannot See. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Your thoughtfulness brought hope and happy tears. This is the best group of people EVER!!!

  16. I can’t believe all the books I was gifted by generous Bloggess followers… no words for this.
    I’m having such a hard time; february 5th was my first birthday without Lesley (and also the 6 month anniversary of her death) and this whole booksgiving event gave me smiles, and tears (in a good way though!) and such comfort.
    I felt loved and acknowledged by people I don’t know but now feel forever connected with.

    I send you all thank you notes except Beth Dawson (there was no barcode in the parcel) ; so Beth, thank you thank you thank you for The Velveteen Rabbit (not for a child, but for me, because it’s so beautiful and soothing).

    Thank you lovely everybody.

    The biggest hugs from The Netherlands,
    love Tamar

  17. so i think someone bought the book (Furiously Happy) for me for Booksgiving? because it disappeared from the wishlist? but i still haven’t gotten it… any suggestions? like… it’s been two weeks, it should have been here by now. did it get lost? does it sometimes take that long? should i contact amazon and say “hey this book got lost, give this person their money back?” idfk.

  18. I have no Idea if any of the mare reading, but to everyone who sent me a book- you are amazing, and I am grateful. I’ve sent thank you notes to the ones from Amazon, but a few came from other-party sites, and I can’t say thank you! So thank you. I am reading and reading, and letting myself laugh 🙂

  19. I am a brand new fan. I read “Furiously Happy” starting at 7:10 pm last night, while I laid with my baby girl for the entire night trying to keep her hydrated after a full day of vomiting and testing positive for the FLU!! Yes, she had a Flu shot. Anywhoo, I could not put your book down and I finished it in between nursing my girl back to health. Did I tell you that I could not put it down OR stop laughing? And I want you to know that I, too, live in Houston, and endure all of the painful small talk with other parents at quite a few of the thousands of extra curriculars that we drag our children to in a 5-day span, and I am quite certain I have sat in that same room where you watched the ballet lessons up on the monitor as our little ones twirled their little hearts out. And I have to tell you that had I been in the same room the day your precious baby girl twirled into the wall and you proceeded to tell everyone that, and I paraphrase, “She doesn’t really hold her alcohol well……” You would have got a HUGE laugh out of me….laughing WITH you! And the time when you were in the hospital and thought that “Labia” was taking care of you, not to be confused with “Latoya”…..OMG!!! That is SO something that I would have totally said!! SO MUCH OF YOUR LIFE IS ME!!!!!! It’s scary, but at the same time, it’s SO very reassuring.

    Thank you for your honesty, your sense of humor, and for you. I will look forward to reading your first book and your blog. “Pretend that your good at it”. I love it.

  20. Rie, if you are still reading, your book is in NJ, on its way to your house. I seem to have ordered a copy from the UK, although I’m pretty sure I selected a US-based vendor. Sorry about that!

  21. I’m #1966, and I received Furiously Happy in book & audio format this past Wednesday. Ladies, thank you so so much! Unfortunately, my aunt passed away that same morning, just hours before amazon delivered. I’ve been jumping back and forth between reading and listening ever since, and I love it! Great to have the audio in the car when I was driving family members around, to get a few smiles and laughs out of them, and everyone that sees the cover of the book picks it up to read a bit. Forever grateful for strangers’ generosity, and can’t wait to send out more books to keep this going!

  22. I have received books from my wish list, thank you to all of you. Now we need a reading challenge 🙂

  23. To the lovely person who sent me Connemara Blues: Thank you so very much! This has been an astonishing and delightful experience. Thanks to Jenny for starting it all. And thanks to all of you for creating magic right here!

  24. Meg@ …55? 53? in New Westminster, your package is delivered and ready to be picked up. Angela in Saskatoon you have yours! And Melissa in Amherstberg, Red: A Crayon’s Story is going to arrive tomorrow!!

  25. Hey guys i was comment #1919 and I’m happy to say I have recieved a book from the wonderful Laura Kitson! Thank you so much!

  26. Thank you wildly and madly from GtotheF (comment # 1417) to the lovely and generous person who paid for my copy of “Furiously Happy”. I almost started crying at the post office when I opened the package last week, as I had completely forgotten this request. Also, it took me ages to locate my original comment, so please accept my delay in posting a follow-up.

    And being the total dork that I am, my first thought was, “Ooo, I’m sure someone in my ‘Mental Health Peer Support Organization (MHPSO)’ would love to read this!” And in a strange twist of fate, two very cool young dudes in the aforementioned group (in Toronto) have selected “Furiously Happy” as the first read for our freshly birthed book club. By the by, they might (??) make a few requests for copies too.

    Again, thank you to my “secret book-buying angel”, and immense and profound thanks to the lovely Ms. Lawson.


  27. THANK YOU @DM (Todd 🙂 You made my month! Rising Strong by Brene Brown is SO what I need to be reading right now. A thousand heart-felt thank yous to you, kind Sir.

  28. I don’t know if this is still going on but I’ve avoided making a wish list and I’ve finally gained the courage. I’ve been reading Jenny for years and I bought her first book the day it was released. My life is currently a chronic number of anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and both bulemia and anorexia. I went to treatment but currently don’t have the means to continue it so I’m not able to work and don’t leave the house anymore. This would REALLY make my day…I can’t remember the last time I had money to buy things with.


  29. I was overwhelmed today when I received a book from Leigh. Thank you so much! This is such a great idea. I am also humbled by all the people who have given books. I haven’t found anyone yet to purchase a book for…though I’m only up to the 300s in the comments. Again, what an amazing idea, and thank you Leigh!

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