Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Participating in World Book Night

Today is none other than World Book Night.  Of course, you already knew this, right? ;)  It is also the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday!  World Book night was chosen to be on this day in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.  Isn't that a great activity?  World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011 before making its way to the U.S.  I hadn't heard about this event until my daughter, who is a total bookworm, told me about participating in it a few years ago.  I've been involved with it ever since and have loved every minute of it. 

Here are a few fun facts about it:  
  • It was organized to encourage adults and older children who are non-readers to read.
  • On this day, 25,000 volunteers pass out books to about 500,000 "to-be readers".
  • An additional 2,300 bookstores and libraries serve as a location for the givers to pick-up their books to hand out before this date.
  • There's a huge list of companies that help to make this event happen like UPS, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and a lot of publishers!  Here's a complete list of those who help in case you're curious.
  • All books are given away for free!
Last year, I passed out the first book in a series of adventures about Percy Jackson, called "The Lightning Thief."  In this book, Percy Jackson discovers he's half-God.  I chose to give these books to a class of 6th graders, who live in a poverty-stricken area in my region. I coordinated this with a friend who was teaching at a grade school there.  
Today, I get to once again participate in this event by passing out 20 free books to the seniors in my community.  Before this event, I called my local senior center and talked to the events coordinator there.  I told her about World Book Night and asked her when a good time to visit on the 23rd would be?  Of course, she told me to come right before Bingo, when it was sure to be crowded there at the center. Well, she was right, there was quite the crowd waiting to play Bingo when I arrived.  I had fun talking to everyone, explaining what I was doing and handing out a large print copy of "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford to those who indicated they weren't readers.  I read this book a few years ago and loved it!  I hope they'll enjoy reading this book too.  These cute recipients couldn't believe that this book was free, some wondered if I was the author...ha ha!
World Book Night is such a fun way to try to lure people in to reading a good book. Of course, the hope is that the free book they receive will hook them on reading for life. 

As an avid reader, I have a few new recommendations for you: Last week, I finished reading "The Rent Collector" by Cameron Wright.  This was one of the best books, my full review on Goodreads is here.  In honor of the real reason for celebrating Easter, I also finished reading "Killing Jesus: A History," which I also thoroughly enjoyed. 

In honor of this day, go bury your nose in a good book.  What are some of your favorites?

-xoxo Grandma
Shared at: 2Croquet Hooks Snickerdoodle Sunday
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