“I really love to watch them roll…”

After 20 months of book promotion, I’m left with fond memories, many new friends—and clutter.

I have ten hardcover copies of Becoming Charlemagne sitting in a box. These books went unclaimed at lectures and signings because the dust jackets all suffered minor damage: a tear here, a chip, dent, or crinkle there. Sometimes the damage is barely discernible, and all ten copies are perfectly readable.

So I’m giving them to “Quid Plura?” readers, but with a catch:

1. Go to www.pva.org and make a donation of at least $10 to Paralyzed Veterans of America.

2. Post a comment letting us know you’ve done so. (Anonymity or pseudonymity are fine.) Keep an eye on this, because I have only ten books.

3. Send your address to jeffsypeck -at- gmail-dot-com and I’ll send you a book. Postage is on me. (Also, if you don’t mind, tell me how much you donated so I can give my PVA contact a general sense of our total amount.)

If “Quid Plura?” readers are generous enough to take all ten damaged books off my hands, I’ll make my own $75 donation to PVA. Please feel free to spread the word.

You’re probably wondering why a blog about medievalism is asking you to donate to PVA. Before she retired, my mom, in her role as a secretary for a big corporation, helped secure funding for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. I volunteered at the games in Minneapolis in 2005 and Anchorage in 2006 and met some outstanding athletes: men and women who were paralyzed, and missing limbs, yet still out there golfing on two prosthetic legs, running over dear friends in rugby chairs, or blowing into tubes to navigate an obstacle course.

Some of these vets were injured in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, but others were left paralyzed by workplace accidents, car crashes, strokes, or disease. Many of them, their spouses told me, were depressed and reclusive—until they discovered the doggedly competitive but deeply supportive world of wheelchair sports.

PVA keeps these veterans rolling. The organization pays to send newly injured vets to wheelchair events, they fund research into spinal-cord injuries, and they lobby for disabled veterans’ benefits and rights. The Veterans Wheelchair Games, my favorite of their programs, ensures that veterans who struggle physically, emotionally, and financially can still accomplish astonishing things. If you live near Omaha, you should go cheer them on this year. Frankly, they make us able-bodied people look like wusses. Seeing them compete will change your life.

So, watch this video (part one and part two), be moved, make a donation, help injured veterans, and get a book. Quid plura dicam: What more can I say?

*** UPDATE: 25 June 2008, 12:00 p.m.:

All ten books have been claimed!  I’ll post a final tally once I know how much everyone donated. If you’re feeling inspired, it’s never too late to make a donation to PVA: www.pva.org.

7 thoughts on ““I really love to watch them roll…”

  1. What a great thing to do! I’ve made a donation; I’ll be sending you an email shortly with my information.


  2. Hi. I just made a donation. I had your book on my TBB (to be bought) list, but $ was tight and shelf space at a premium, so I have been trying to read and then donate what I have. But I love your idea to donate and then send. I love it. Bravo. I work with a lot of authors and I will be suggesting this exact process. Good for you.

    It may show up that I made two donations but only completed one. Their directions were flawless; the mistake was all driver error, I am afraid. Please let them know that I intended the one donation.

    posted by a fellow Lennon fan and the relative of someone who thankfully returned from Iraq without needing PVA, but I am really happy to contribute. Love knowing that it’s there.


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