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World Book Night

I absolutely love the idea of World Book Night, in which booklovers and readers go out into their communities and give books to people.


The goal is to have 50,000 people give a book to a stranger or to people you might know but believe aren’t frequent readers. Go to a coffee shop, a hospital, a park, a church, a community center, an after-work party, a local school, or even just give them away on your daily train ride. WBN will give you 20 specially-produced, not-for-resale World Book Night editions to randomly give away. There are 30 titles to choose from for all types of readers. Basically, if you love any of the books included in the program, you can get free copies to share with others. The list includes:

• The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
• I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
• Kindred by Octavia Butler
• The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
• Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
• The Stand by Stephen King
• The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
• Just Kids by Patti Smith

The purpose is to celebrate the love of reading, the love of a good book, and to share the ones we love the most. The full list of 30 books is a fantastic selection – some of my very favourites, and now I need to seek out the others on the list, of course. If you’d like to be one of the people giving out books, you have until midnight EST tonight, february 6th 2012, to register to give out books. Unfortunately, this is not available in Canada yet – only the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland. But what a wonderful idea. If and when it makes it to Canada, I will do everything I can to take part.

(via BoingBoing)

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

3 Responses to “World Book Night”

  1. I would love to participate. I can think of quite a few people who would like to receive a book.

  2. World Book Night | Reading Copy Book Blog – just great!

  3. When World Book Night (WBN) was extended to the US, I was very excited. I am a college reading instructor AND bookseller of several years. I wanted to be a part of the celebration because I promote reading on a daily basis.

    HOWEVER, after waiting for several weeks to notified if our bookstore was selected as a collection point, I sent an email to the WBN people asking why we had not been contacted one way or the other. Yesterday, I finally received word in an email our bookstore was disqualified because it is a USED bookstore! However, the man who sent the email did apologize for his lack of communication.

    In quoting the World Book Night website, the concept of “spreading the love of reading, person to person”, one would think the people involved would also welcome USED bookstores. USED bookstores promote reading just
    as any library or NEW bookstore would.

    In addition, on the application form, NOTHING was said that used bookstores were NOT acceptable as collection points!

    The idea that USED bookstores are disqualified while new bookstores selling only children’s books can qualify to distribute NON-children’s books seems to be a big disconnect with the concept of “spreading the love of reading, person to person. Also, WBN has accepted USED bookstores who do not have “USED” in their name!

    I am very saddened that the people at WBN could decide to disqualify ANY USED bookstore just on the fact that most of the books are not NEW.

    Finally, our USED bookstore donates a number of books on a regular basis to groups and individuals without having to have a World Book Night…