In honor of World Book Night on April 23rd, several local community members will be distributing books in Princeville. Tina Fey’s Bossypants will be given away at the softball field and the large print version of Favorite American Poems will be distributed at Princeville Women’s Club. James Patterson’s Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life will be given out at the grade school.
What is World Book Night? In the U.S., a half million free books will be handed out in towns and cities across America all on one day—April 23, 2013—by enlisting 25,000 volunteer book lovers to help promote reading by going into their communities and personally handing out specially printed copies to light or non-‐readers and to those without the means or access to printed books.How did it start? World Book Night was first celebrated in the USA in 2012. What better way to spread a love for reading than to inspire passionate readers to go out into their communities and share copies of their favorite books with those who don’t regularly read? Giving is an incredibly powerful part of our culture—and culture, art, and a writers’ talent are all themselves ‘gifts’. Last year, almost 80,000 people gave out over 2.5 million books in four different countries.
How does it work? Each year, 30 books are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors of the books waive their royalties and the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the specially-printed World Book Night U.S. editions. Bookstores and libraries sign up to be community host locations for the volunteer book givers. After the book titles are announced, members of the public apply to personally hand out 20 copies of a particular title in their community. On April 23rd, they give their books to those who don’t regularly read and/or people who don’t normally have access to printed books, for reasons of means or access.
Why does World Book Night exist? Reading for pleasure improves literacy, actively engaging emerging readers in their desire to read. Reading changes lives, improves employability, social interaction, enfranchisement, and can have a positive effect on mental health and happiness. Book readers are more likely to participate in positive activities such as volunteering, attending cultural events, and even physical exercise (“Reading at Risk: A Survey of LiteraryReading in America,” National Endowment for the Arts).