Imagine having to share one Harry Potter book with 12 of your closest friends – and it was the only book you could read for weeks or even months.
Any of the Harry Potter books are fun to read, but after the third consecutive reading you probably no longer need the book to recount the lines. That’s the situation a number of American soldiers face overseas.
Armand Rosamila is trying to change that with the Authors Supporting Our Troops book drive.
Rosamila has heard stories of the lack of books soldiers have overseas. So, he is collecting signed books from authors and publishers to send to United States Armed Forces stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan. The drive started in January and will run through April 1, but may be extended based on the response.
“They will read anything and I am collecting anything (except porn),” Rosamila said in an email. “I welcome self-published authors to send their books because these are the gems the soldiers would not be able to get, and they might find an author they really enjoy and will read for the rest of their lives.”
Rosamila has collected more than 800 books and said at least another 400 authors have expressed interest. But it looks as though Rosamila may not stop when the April 1 deadline approaches. In fact, he may just send books year round since the response has been overwhelming.
“(I was) shocked at first at how many authors wanted to take part in the event,” said Rosamila, a horror writer. “I am humbled and so happy with the positive show of support from my fellow authors, and to non-authors who have sent donations and bought shirts to offset the massive shipping cost.”
Last year, fellow author Joe McKinney held the drive, but couldn’t to do it this year because his contact was no longer overseas. That’s when Rosamila jumped in reaching out to soldiers who are back home after deployed and his girlfriend’s godson, who is overseas, to find places to send books.
He then got in touch with the large network of authors who often help each other.
“I had no idea how many authors would be willing to help out, no matter what their own feelings were toward the military and/or government,” Rosamila said. “Us writers can be a pretty opinionated bunch, but it has been nothing but positive so far. And every day another 50-75 books come in and get added to the pile. It is amazing!”
Nearly every day, Rosamila posts the books that he has received on the Facebook page for the book drive. Five books at a time. Two more books. 50 books!
It looks like American soldiers will have more to read than just one Harry Potter book.
Check out Authors Supporting Our Troops Facebook page for more information.