World Book Night

Held for the first time in the UK in 2011, World Book Night will be celebrated in the US this year! On April 23, tens of thousands of people will go out into their communities and share the joy of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks to those who do not read much (or at all) or who don’t have ready access to books. I know April 23 is still a bit far off, but keep reading! I swear, this is time relevant!

This year, 30 books have been selected, with a total of 1 million special edition, not-for-resale books being printed. Titles represent a wide range of literature — fiction and nonfiction, young adult, literary and commercial — and include I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Friday Night Lights, The Hunger Games, The Kite Runner, and The Book Thief.

World Book Night’s goal is to get 50,000 participants to distribute 20 copies of their favorite WBN book April 23, putting books into the hands of 1 million light or non-readers. You can get involved by applying on the World Book Night website by Feb. 1 (I told you this post is actually time sensitive!). The application requires a little thought — it asks you to choose your top three book choices and to describe where you plan to distribute the books, to whom you will give them, and why you want to give away those particular books — but it’s not too time consuming.

If you’re like me, you might not be overflowing with ideas about where you could distribute your books. Have no fear! World Book Night US Executive Director Carl Lennertz offers a blog post about just that! According to his post, people have applied to distribute books everywhere from schools to nursing homes, coffee shops to soup kitchens — even Little League games and the Staten Island Ferry!

Apply today to participate in World Book Night and share your love of reading with those who haven’t had the pleasure to read, say, “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Books are meant to be read, to share ideas and experiences; so apply, get out there, and introduce some strangers to your favorite book!

Interesting tidbit: April 23 was chosen as the date for World Book Night because it is also UNESCO International Day of the Book, the date of which was chosen to honor the death dates of Cervantes and Shakespeare. (It is also Shakespeare’s birthday!)

Update: The deadline has been moved forward to Feb. 6


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