Dear World Book Night US book givers, if you can, please use #wbnamerica everywhere so we can find & share your adventures :)
— World Book Night USA (@wbnamerica) April 22, 2012
It's April 23rd, 2012! Know what that means? It means it's the USA's very first World Book Night.
If you're not familiar with WBN, you may want to take note and mark your calendars for next year, because it's an amazing event. World Book Night began in the U.K. and has been so successful that they decided to try it over here in the US this year as well. It's a collaboration between publishers, authors, printers, booksellers, and more to create a special limited-print run of 25-30 different titles, which are distributed FOR FREE to volunteers around the country. Then, on a specified night (April 23rd this year), the volunteers get their 20 free books into the hands of light readers or non-readers. The goal is to encourage literacy and reading for those who may not normally consider themselves "readers."
It's an awesome event. This year, the participating publishing/printing organizations and individuals donated 500,000 books to be distributed by 25,000 volunteers in 5,000 American cities. And that's not even counting the folks doing the same in the U.K.!
The volunteers are distributing the books in all kinds of fun and generous ways. Some are donating the books directly to an organization, others will be setting up in high-traffic areas and handing their books out. I decided to give my books to a local continuation high school this year. My bookstore got some bonus boxes, so I'll be giving out 20 copies of The Book Thief and 20 copies of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to the students. I'm actually probably doing it RIGHT NOW AS YOU'RE READING THIS.
|My pair of WBN giver boxes, full of books!|
|Special Edition copy of Oscar Wao|
I'm so excited to participate and spread the world about this awesome event. With any luck, it'll become an annual thing. Be sure to follow the #wbnamerica tag on Twitter to see where all the books are going. I hope you'll participate next year if you aren't already!