If you're reading this, the chances that you are either a reader or a member of my family is extremely high. But let's focus on that first category for a second. The readers. Maybe the writers. The people who squee when a favorite author or fellow book blogger/book tuber leaves a comment, favorites, or follows something you said. The people who don't think of a boat when somebody says ARC. If you're one of those people, maybe you spent yesterday celebrating World Book Night.
World Book Night is both a day and an organization aimed at getting books out to people who maybe don't read much and use the written word as a way of building community. How is this done? By thousands of volunteers in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany going out on April 23rd and giving away books for free.
Yeah, you read that right. Free. As in none of the authors whose books were chosen for whichever country's list get royalties for the thousands of books that were specially printed for the occasion. We're talking half a million books in 2012 according to the WBN website. Also, no one gets paid to give these books out - you actually have to apply because so many people want to be a part of this.
I applied back in January and was lucky enough to be selected, and last week I got my box of Sandra Cisneros' House on Mango Street. As my first time as a giver, I was completely pumped and hope to make this a yearly tradition. However, I haven't actually been able to give my copies away yet. I applied with a friend of mine, a fellow teacher, and we are giving our combined 40 books to a few classes of struggling readers. Unfortunately, state testing was happening yesterday and continues today, so we're going to make a big deal about the whole thing Friday (yes, that's allowed - WBN only asks that no one hand out books early, but if you have to wait until later, it's okay).
If you're interested in participating, I highly encourage you to check out World Book Night's website and follow them on Twitter. And here's a fun fact to close with. Why April 23rd? Because it's the day historians acknowledge as William Shakespeare's birthday.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
World Book Night (US)
World Book Night (US) on Twitter