The subject of reading comes up quite often on this blog, and yesterday was no exception. Whether or not you sided with Fanjoo in the amazon vs. independent bookseller debate, one common ground that I think we all shared was that getting people to read is a good thing. If nothing else, that Slate article set off an interesting thought process, which last night may have found its logical, and positive, conclusion. If the goal is, as I said in the first post about reading, getting books into people’s hands, then the folks at World Book Night definitely have the right idea.
World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books.
Begun last year in the UK to much success, it’s being launched this year in the US. On April 23, 2012 tens of thousands of people in both countries, armed with 20 paperbacks a piece (given to them by local, participating bookstores and libraries), will take to the streets with a single goal… to get the books, one million in each country, into the hands of people who are not normally readers. The day was selected to coincide with World Book Day, created by UNESCO in 1995 to celebrate and promote reading, writing, and publishing. The date also coincides with the anniversary of the deaths of Cervantes and Shakespeare.
The idea behind WBN is a good one.
Reading changes lives and at the heart of World Book Night lies the simplest of ideas and acts – that of putting a book into another person’s hand and saying ‘this one’s amazing, you have to read it’.
They are looking for volunteers to distribute the books in April. If you’re in the US, here is the link to register to be a “giver.” I signed up last night.
- World Book Night 2011: The ups & the downs (littleinterpretations.com)
- World Book Night: Looking for Volunteers to Give Away One MIllion Free Books (huffingtonpost.com)
- US to mark World Book Night with classic titles give-away (guardian.co.uk)