Both my husband and I are ready for World Book Night 2014! He’ll be handing out the graphic novel, “Same Difference” on the streets of Chicago, and I’ll be giving my 20 copies of Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” to a women’s shelter in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. This is our third year participating in this great event, and we look forward to participating for many more years. Spreading the love of reading is something to be encouraged! 🙂
World Book Night America 2013 is next Tuesday. 25,000 volunteers will be heading out into 6,000 US towns and cities to hand out copies of wonderful books to people who are traditionally non-readers.
Both my husband and I participated last year, and we’re doing it again. Last year, we both picked “A Prayer for Owen Meany” to hand out, and had a great time perusing Lakeview and surprising people with free books.
This year, we chose different selections. He chose Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens,” and I chose Sandra Cisernos’ “The House on Mango Street.” While we’re excited to head out into the world next week, I’m actually still hoping I can give my books to a local women and children’s shelter – TBD!
Spread the love of reading. Change some lives. Meet some people.
World Book Night is awesome. 🙂
Applications are being taken for six more weeks. There are some really great book selections this year, like Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens,” Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” and even an American Poetry collection. My husband and I participated in this last year, and it was really cool – We’ve both applied to be givers again this year. 🙂
Y’all. If you ever decide to haul 20 copies of a 600 page book around for a few hours, may you be lucky enough to have a stroller at your disposal.
And an adorable baby helps too.
The first ever American run of World Book Night was, by what I can tell from the twitterverse, a smash success. My husband and I were both happily selected to be book givers, and had a marvelous time wandering the neighborhoods of Chicago surprising random people with copies of our selected book – John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”
People’s responses ranged from skepticism – which I totally understand, because that is exactly how I’d react if a stranger tried to give me a book – to joy and happiness. There were a few people who were really blatant in their refusal, too. My husband, as cheery a dude as there ever was, would ask “Hi! Do you like books?” and a couple people actually said flat-out, “No.” (Also, a few people refused, citing their having a Kindle as a reason not to take a book. This makes no sense to me, as I have a Kindle and still love actual books, but whatever.)
Some highlights of our adventure:
- Giving a copy to the lovely Romanian woman who cleans our apartment building. (She’s the nicest woman on earth, by the way.)
- Surprising the folks in an ice cream shoppe with books. One employee and two customers were over the moon delighted by the books, and the male employee was very open about how he’s not a reader, so he declined. However, we got ice cream, and he gave us extra punches on our store punch card. 🙂
- My husband wound up giving away copies to most of the people on his bus on the way home from work. If there was ever a time to need a book, the bus is it.
- There’s a really nice man who asks for change on my street. Whenever I actually have change, I usually give him some. He always waves at my son and calls him “Shorty.” I didn’t have any change, but I gave him a book, and he really liked the idea.
- The woman with the puppy. We asked her “Hey, do you like books?” She replied,” I LOVE Books!”
- Taking a copy into this little craft boutique on Broadway and giving it to the girl behind the counter. She got excited when she saw it was John Irving.
- The girl who exclaimed “I LOVE this book!”
It was a lovely way to spend a day, handing out literature to strangers in the city. We’ll definitely apply to be givers again next year. I’m in love with the idea that there are maybe people reading in Chicago tonight because we handed them a book.
Well done, Book Givers around the world.
Read on, kids.
We’re out and about in Chicago today — handing out copies of “A Prayer for Owen Meany” as part of World Book Night. Full report to come tomorow!
World Book Night is on April 23rd, 2012 – a day to celebrate reading. Anna Quindlen has been named the honorary chair, and it looks like things are off and running.
Want to show your support?
I volunteered to be a book giver, and you can too! The Givers will be spread out all over, giving out free copies of the selected books for the year. (I picked “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” because it’s a splendid book.)
Books for 2012 —
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Ballantine)
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger (Da Capo)
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Beacon Press)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Tor)
Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Blood Work by Michael Connelly (Grand Central)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (Riverhead); a Spanish-language edition, La breve y maravillosa vida de Óscar Wao (Vintage Espanol), will also be made available.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (Vintage)
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (Grove Atlantic)
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Algonquin)
Q Is for Quarry by Sue Grafton (Berkley)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (Ballantine)
The Stand by Stephen King (Anchor)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Perennial)
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (W.W. Norton)
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (Mariner)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Perennial)
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Atria)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (Picador)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Back Bay)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Broadway)
Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf Books for Young Readers)