Tonight is World Book Night. World Book Night takes place on April 23, 2014 and is in its third year in the U.S., after the UK launch in 2011. It’s celebrated today for a couple of reasons. April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday. It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616. In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.
As part of World Book Night USA, 2,300 bookstores and libraries serve as community organizers for the book distribution to the volunteer givers. Its reach includes all 50 states, Puerto Rico, USVI, and overseas military bases.
The WBN picks are by a wide array of award–‐winning and bestselling adult and YA authors, as well as classics, books in Spanish, and books in Large Print. The assortment of 39 WBN titles is based on diversity in subject matter, age level, gender, ethnicity and geography. The books were chosen in a vote by booksellers, librarians, and givers.
Bestselling author Scott Turow said: “I can’t imagine any greater compliment to a book —or an author— than to know his work has been selected to welcome people to the pleasures of reading.”
Today, 25,000 volunteers from Kodiak to Key West will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across America. World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially–‐ printed paperbacks to light or non–‐readers. Volunteer book lovers like myself will help promote reading by going into our communities and handing out free copies of a book we love, often to those without means or access to a printed book.
I’m giving out copies of Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, a great book for middle-schoolers. Any body else giving out a book today? Which one?
Tonight, if you happen to see a giver out and about, say “hi.”
Here’s the list of books being given away today.
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond & T.R. Simon
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
After the Funeral by Agatha Christie
The Ruins of Gorlan: The Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 1 by John Flanagan
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Large Print edition) by Jamie Ford
The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Pontoon by Garrison Keillor
Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan
Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee
Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
The Raven’s Warrior by Vincent Pratchett
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
Cuando Era Puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Large Print edition) by Maria Semple
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
100 Best-Loved Poems edited by Philip Smith