You are cordially invited to hand out 20 copies of a free, brand-spanking new book on April 23, 2013 to unsuspecting recipients.
World Book Night is scheduled for April 23, 2013. This fantastic event began in 2011 in the U.K. and was expanded to include the U.S. last year. The mission of World Book Night is to spread a love of reading and books. The goal is to get books in the hands of people who are underserved because of income or location or other reasons. The organization also promotes the value of bookstores and libraries to everyone year round through social media and traditional publicity.
The honorary chairpersons of World Book Night 2013 will be best-selling novelists Ann Patchett and James Patterson. Patchett's novel, Bel Canto, was on the list last year, and Patterson's kids'book, Middle School: the Worst Years of My Life, is among the 30 selections to give away this year. Patterson said: "In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night - it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing enjoyable books. I'm honored to be a part of it." Ann Patchett adds, "As both a writer and a bookseller, I'm all in favor of getting books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have access to them." In 2012, almost 80,000 people gave out over 2.5 million books in four different countries.
Organizers plan to give away a half a million books in the US this year. How? you ask. By enlisting the help of 25,000 bibliophile-volunteers who will serve as "book givers". The "book givers" will be handing out the books in unexpected places within their communities. Last year, volunteers handed out books in 5,800 towns and cities across the country.
Interested? It's really simple: you must be 16 or older, agree not to resell the books, and not pass them out to your family, friends, or book groups. You'll have to make a first, second, and third choice of books and you'll receive 20 copies of one book title. Applications are being accepted until January 25th. I did it last year and had an absolute blast, and jumped at the chance to participate again. I got to hand out 20 copies of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Only one person asked, "What religion are you handing this out for?" LOL. Overall, the recipients reactions were awesome.
An independent panel of booksellers and librarians selects 30 books, using lists curated by experts in the bookselling and library world. The panel looks for: accessible books of high quality, recently published and established classics, books available in paperback, and the list overall must have gender, ethnic, and geographical balance. Additionally, each year, givers from the previous year's World Book Night nominate books for the panel to consider. The costs of these paperback special editions will be underwritten by publishers, printers, and paper companies. And all 30 authors have waived their royalties. How great is that?!
Here are this year's selections:
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
La Casa en Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros; translated by Elena Poniatowska
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moeringer
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Middle School: the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
Population: 485 by Michael Perry
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Favorite American Poems in Large Print edited by Paul Negri
Here's the World Book Night website for more information.