World Book Night 2014!

My Giver Box and Book!
This is my third year participating in World Book Night, an amazing program designed to promote literacy in the United States (the program began in the UK in 2011).  On the 23rd of April,  tens of thousands of people around the US and the UK hand out hundreds of thousands of free books to spread the love of reading from one person to the next.  This day is significant for several reasons:  1) It's the UNESCO International Day of the Book, 2) It's Shakespeare's birthday, and 3) It's the day that Miguel de Cervantes died (the father of the modern novel:  Don Quixote).  The publishers and authors from a wide variety of genres all waive their royalties and print the books for free; there is a selection of 38 books for this year's giveaway.  In addition, there are over 35,000 people giving books away in the US alone this time around.  That's impressive! 

The first year I participated in the program, I received Nicole Krauss' The History of Love and handed it out to interested students in one of my lower-level writing class at a local community college.  Most of these students were working on degrees in mechanics or the culinary arts and the majority were only taking the class because it was a requirement.  In addition, a vast majority of them admitted to not enjoying reading...or writing for that matter.  My goal was always to have them realize that the more you read, the better you write, so this was the perfect venue to hand out free books and I was surprised by how many students were interested.

Last year I received David Benioff's City of Thieves and, because I was no longer teaching at the community college, I focused my attention on the large population of non-native English speakers in the community in which I live.  I utilized the public library, a place a lot of middle and high school kids utilized during the after school hours because of the free internet, and an after-school program in Salem, our state capital, that helps at-risk youths in the community.  It was another success.

This year I have received Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife as my World Book Night book.  I am very excited for this year's giveaway and can not wait to hand out free books on the 23rd.  As of now, I am still figuring out exactly where I'm going to hand out books...maybe a local park or the front of the student center at the university where I work or a local coffee shop.  I'm not quite sure.  Regardless, it's another great year to be a Book Giver!

If you are a lover of reading, literature, and the like, I highly recommend getting involved in this program.  You won't regret it.  And the look on people's faces when you hand them something for free is priceless and oh so rewarding :)

Comments

  1. How have I never heard of this program before? What a wonderful idea! I've signed up to get the newsletter.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent, Marcy! It's such an amazing program and event. I'm glad that I've managed to corral some others into becoming givers :)

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