W is for World Book Night
“Spreading the love of reading, person to person”
Who helped give out half a million free books across America on April 23rd? I did.
On April 23, 2014, 25,000 volunteers from Kodiak to Key West gave away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across America. World Book Night U.S. (WBN) is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or non-readers. Volunteer book lovers like myself will helped 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. With the organizational support of our local bookstores and libraries, we shared them in locations such as hospitals, mass transit, nursing homes, food pantries, underfunded schools and more.
I am very proud to be a World Book Night giver. On April 23, 2014, I handed out 20 copies of Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan at the Flat Rock Head Start. This is one of the easiest and rewarding volunteer experiences a book lover can participate in. I have done WBN three years in a row now and each time has been pleasant and heartwarming, fun and even funny at times.
What’s the process to becoming a giver?
- You go to the web-site and fill out the giver questionnaire and then you wait to see if you get picked and if the book you picked out of those chosen for the year gets picked (you make top three choices). This is a volunteer organization so giver names are not chosen until January each year and the wait between steps can seem like a long time. Be patient.
- Next, usually by March, you get to pick where you will pick up your stock of chosen books that are for distribution. Once done, this too is followed by an extensive wait.
- Then some time late March to early April, you get the high-sign to come ahead and pick up your books. The pick up location is usually a bookstore or library and it is at their discretion whether they do a little reception. This can depend on how many givers from the area chose the same spot. I have been treated to two receptions at two different pick up locations and once I was the only giver so no reception.
- Finally, its giveaway day/night. This can be something special like a reception or something as casual as you standing there handing out books (depends on you and the location you choose to distribute). Be prepared to explain ‘what’s it about?’. Also be prepared for a variety of responses to your offer of the free book. Many people are leery and doubt that this is a no strings attached giveaway, some just take it and practically run lest you change your mind and others practically hug you out of gratitude.
So that’s it! You control a lot of how simple or complex you make it. Be flexible with your hosts and be friendly to your recipients. It’s a fabulous experience.
If you are interested in participating in such an effort, you can check it all out at: http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/
Notable W Words I Considered
Wonderful – Like the song What a Wonderful World
Wuss – Rub some dirt on it and keep going!
Walt Disney World – do you need to ask why I picked this one?
Whimpsie – the first dog my husband and I adopted
Whip It – Whip It Real Good
Whining – Only if I am dining.
What’s your W word of the day?