World Book Night, which began in 2010, is celebrated around the world on the evening of April 23rd. April 23rd was chosen for many reasons: it is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday, and it was also selected in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616. In Spain, this day is traditionally celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.
From its inception the purpose of World Book Night has been to get books into the hands of people who may not have any in their homes. What better way to spread a love for reading than to provide passionate readers the opportunity to reach out to their communities by handselling copies of their favorite books?
Each year, 30-35 books are selected by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. Through a collaboration between publishers, authors and others in the book industry special World Book Night editions get printed for this free distribution. Bookstores and libraries sign up to be community host locations for the volunteer book givers.
This is where YOU come in. If you would like to be a ‘giver’ of books on April 23rd, 2014, you’ll need to put in your application. Become a giver by filling out an electronic application. The deadline for applications is January 5th, 2014!
UPDATE: The deadline has been extended until Friday the 10th of January at midnight. According to World Book Night U.S. executive director Carl Lennertz "About 2/3 of those who applied in Oct. and Nov. will get first choice of book, and 98% of all who have applied to date will be givers!" So go head and get your giver applications in! Givers will be notified February 1st.
Some of the titles in this year's selection to whet your giving appetite:
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Check out the complete list of books here and see if one of your favorite books made the list! If you are selected as a “giver” you will then be given the opportunity to choose your pick up location in February. Many Denver Public library locations have signed up to be host libraries so have no fear, a branch in your area will be an option for you.
I have "celebrated" this Book Day ever since I studied abroad in Spain 12 years ago. To this day I still give away books in April. What a great concept. I don't actually understand what it means to be a "giver" though, in the context of this blog.
As a potential giver you submit an application to World Book Night to be selected as one of the official (now this is where the lingo gets really technical) book-giver-outer people on April 23rd. If you are selected as a "giver" then you would receive 20 copies of your chosen title from World Book Night that have been specifically printed for this occasion. Then in February you would be shown your options for your preferred pick up location (hopefully one of our participating branches!). Does that sort of answer your question Matthew?
I've participated in the World Book Night give-away for the last two years, giving books to runaways and homeless in downtown Denver on the 16th Street Mall. After I've convinced the receiver I'm not there to 'save them' the barriers break down pretty easily. We've have great conversations about the book(s) I'm giving away, why they're being given away, and all kinds of other fun stuff.
It's a beautiful way to reach out and connect with a huge variety of people in different situations and leave them with a book and a smile.