On April 23, 25,000 volunteers from Berkeley to Boston and Sitka to Sarasota will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across the country.
World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or nonreaders across America on one day. Volunteer book lovers help promote reading by going out into their communities and sharing free copies of books they love. The mission of World Book Night is to seek out those without the means or access to printed books.
For the second year in a row, some of the volunteers in our community will be picking up their books at Bethel, Connecticut’s Byrd’s Books and sharing them in locations as diverse as VA hospitals, roller skating rinks, mass transit, nursing homes, schools, food pantries, and more.
Last week, Byrd’s Books held “A Giver’s Reception” for book givers to collect their titles, and tonight, givers will congregate at the store to share where they donated the books.
Bestselling authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson are this year’s honorary chair-people of World Book Night.
“In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it,” said James Patterson. “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.”
“I’m very proud to be a part of World Book Night,” Ann Patchett added. “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.”
The selected books for this year’s event were chosen by an independent panel of booksellers and librarians through several rounds of voting. The printing of the free books was possible due to generosity of the authors, publishers, and book manufacturing companies.
Although it is too late to be a giver this year, those interested in participating in the future can sign up for the W Book Night mailing list for news and updates on World Book Night 2014. The free World Book Night editions are not available in Byrd’s Books at any time (except for the volunteers to take into the community), but the store will be displaying the select titles in their regular editions all spring.
The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2013, alphabetical by author, are:
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (Anchor Books/Random House)
City of Thieves, David Benioff (Plume/Penguin Group (USA))
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (Simon & Schuster Paperbacks)
My Antonia, Willa Cather (Dover)
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier (Plume/Penguin Group (USA))
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (Vintage/Random House)
La casa en Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; translated by Elena Poniatowska (Vintage Español/Random House)
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (HarperOne/HarperCollins)
El Alquimista, Paulo Coelho (Rayo/HarperCollins)
The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Ballantine Books/Random House)
The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Bossypants, Tina Fey (Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books)
Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (William Morrow Paperbacks/HarperCollins)
Still Alice, Lisa Genova (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster)
Looking for Alaska, John Green (Speak/Penguin Group (USA))
Playing for Pizza, John Grisham (Bantam/Random House)
Mudbound, Hillary Jordan (Algonquin Books/Workman Publishing)
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster; illus. by Jules Feiffer (Yearling/Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Moneyball, Michael Lewis (W. W. Norton)
The Tender Bar, J. R. Moehringer (Hyperion)
Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley (Simon & Schuster)
Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Population: 485, Michael Perry (HarperPerennial/HarperCollins)
The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)
Montana Sky, Nora Roberts (Berkley/Penguin Group (USA))
Look Again, Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s)
Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris (Back Bay Books/Little Brown)
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor Books/Random House)
Glaciers, Alexis M. Smith (Tin House Books)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain (Dover)
Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)
Favorite American Poems (Large Print edition) various authors (Dover)