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World Book Night: Or, give your favorite book, spread the joy of reading!

January 19, 2012

You know that feeling when you love a book so much that you just want everyone you know to read it, too?

Here’s a chance to give your favorite book* to 20 people – for free! World Book Night started last year in the UK, and this year the U.S. is involved, too. Here’s how it works: You sign up to be a volunteer book giver (sign up here by Feb. 1st). You choose a book from the approved list of 30 books, answer some questions, and, if you’re approved, the World Book Night people will ship you 20 copies of your chosen book (books will be shipped to bookstores and libraries throughout the country, so you’ll have to go pick up your books at one of your local establishments… but you were already going there anyway, weren’t you?) On April 23, 2012, you take your books to a public place and hand them out, spreading the joy of reading!

What for? From the WBN website: “It will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks. World Book Night, through social media and traditional publicity, will also promote the value of reading, of printed books, and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round.”

I can’t think of a much better way to encourage people to read and to remind them of the value of the printed book than to actually put a copy of a book in someone’s hand and say “Read this book. It will make you [laugh/cry/think, etc.]” While World Book Night is being actively promoted through social media, it in and of itself is almost the anti-social media–or perhaps the original form of social media: people going outside and talking, face to face, with other people.

Now the hard part is picking which book to give! Over the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite books from the World Book Night list. But for now, don’t forget to sign up by Feb. 1st!


*Choose your favorite book from the list – but it’s an extensive list, with something for nearly everyone, and there’s a good chance your favorite book might actually be on it! If not, maybe you’ll find your second-favorite book instead.

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