World Book Night 2014 Recap: ‘Givers’ Take to the Streets to Spread Their Love of Reading

By Nicole Martineau, Associate Publicist

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Last night, Wednesday, April 23, over 25,000 dedicated volunteers across the United States gave away free books to members of their local community for World Book Night U.S., an annual event dedicated to spreading the joy of reading to those who do not regularly do so.

 

How does World Book Night work?

Every year around 30 to 35 books are selected by an independent panel to be added to a list of official World Book Night U.S. books. The publishers of these books agree to cover the cost of producing custom World Book Night U.S. editions. Bookstores and libraries across the country then sign up to host volunteers, also known as “givers,” for the event. According to the official website, givers are chosen based on their ability to reach light and non-readers in their community.

About a week before the event, the selected givers choose a local participating bookstore or library to pick up 20 copies of a specifically selected book (delivered to the host location by World Book Night U.S.). On the evening of April 23, the givers take to the streets of their city to distribute the books.

This year’s official World Book Night U.S. list included titles such as: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, and “After the Funeral” by Agatha Christie, among others. To see a full list, click here.

 

World Book Night Takes Over Social Media

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Last night, both givers and receivers took to social media to share their joy, tagging their posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #WBN2014. By the looks of it, this year’s event was a huge success.

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Across the Pond

Like the name of the event suggests, World Book Night is not limited to the U.S. In fact, the event was a product of a roundtable discussion at London’s Book Industry Conference in 2010. In an effort to encourage more adults to read for pleasure, the U.K. and Ireland celebrated the first World Book Night in 2011, followed by the U.S. and Germany in 2012.

 

To learn more about World Book Night, a nonprofit “dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person,” visit the official website.

 

Related: Celebrate Children’s Book Day with 7 Beloved Quotes From Children’s Literature

 

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15 Words Created by William Shakespeare

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By Johanna Dickson, Digital Publicist

William Shakespeare has long been regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of all time. His works have been translated into 80 languages and are read and studied all over the world. There is probably not a teenager alive who hasn’t read Romeo and Juliet. However, what many people do not know is that he is also responsible for creating over 1,700 words that we still use today. If it wasn’t for the Bard, we wouldn’t be using words like “jaded,” “lower,” “luggage,” and “hint.”

In honor of the anniversary of his birthday today, April 23rd, here are 15 other words that Shakespeare can take credit for, and the plays they first appeared in [source]:

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What Books On Education Teach Us

By Brian Feinblum, Senior Vice President and Marketing Officer

With Teacher Appreciation Day coming up next month, we have education books on the brain. There have been many books written about the education system, from all kinds of vantage points. It seems that the link between these books are their conclusions: the system is broken and badly in need of repair. Many of them point to low average test scores employability figures, for example. Some cite that only a third of today’s younger generations go on to attend college.

At MEDIA CONNECT we have had the opportunity to work on books that reflect the changes that many believe are needed in education. In fact, three current books that we are promoting cover many of the key issues. [all images from Barnes&Noble]

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Is There An Urgency To Your Book Publicity?

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By Brian Feinblum, Senior Vice President and Marketing Officer

 

Benjamin Franklin, who seemingly invented everything –the post office, lighting rod, bifocals, odometer, and a stove to name a few– once said words to the effect of “Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today.” He was not a procrastinator, but rather a curious, diligent, creative, and assertive individual who was driven by a passion for words, freedom, learning, and succeeding at any endeavor he put his mind to. He always seemed to act with a sense of urgency.

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What’s In Your Goodreads Queue?

By Adrienne Fontaine, Publicist

I very rarely buy books online. I’d rather support the few independent bookstores that are left in my neighborhood and the local Barnes & Noble. One of the things I do like about Amazon is Goodreads, the virtual book club. Real-life book clubs are hard to maintain; people have unreliable schedules, busy lives, and things happen. Goodreads is great because, most of the time, you’re not reading the same book as your friends (or “followers”). Everyone maintains their own libraries, with bookshelves full of books they’ve either read, are reading, or want to read. People review and rate them, and also have the option of sharing their activity on their social media feeds. I love seeing what my friends who live far away are reading, what they’ve loved, and what they didn’t like at all. I’m usually surprised when someone gives two stars to a book I rated as a four, or vice versa. And it comes in handy when I share similar tastes with someone and see that they gave a book a poor rating or review. I generally don’t waste my time, based on their feedback.

It’s fun to talk about books you’ve read, but it’s even more fun to talk about books you want or plan on reading. The Goodreads “To-Read” resource is handy for keeping track of those, allowing you to build a list which you can reference when you’re in the bookstore. Here are some books that are in my “to-read” list (descriptions and pictures all from Barnes&Noble):

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Leading with Your Legacy in Mind: Q&A with Dr. Andrew Thorn

By Cori Cagide, Associate Publicist

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A client of mine recently inspired me to rethink the concept of legacy. It got me thinking – what will I leave behind when I’m gone? Will I have made a difference? One very important aspect of “legacy” that he helped me to realize is that whether you’re approaching graduation, blossoming at the peak of your career, or gearing up for retirement, legacy is something that can be established at any age. In his book, Leading with Your Legacy in Mind: Building Lasting Value in Business and in Life, business coach and psychologist Dr. Andrew Thorn shows us how to use and manage our time to our advantage so that we’re ultimately working toward our creating our legacy.

 

To better understand this idea of legacy, I had a Q&A session with Dr. Thorn to learn more about his book, his background, and lessons he can share about creating a lasting legacy.

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Today We’re All Boston Strong: 5 Novels That Celebrate The City of Boston

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By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist

No matter what city you call home, or what sports team you support, we’re all Bostonians today. Today marks the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, and while there are memories from this day last year that we would rather forget, our hearts remember the pride we have for our country and for the people of Boston.

A year ago I stood at mile 21, a senior at Boston College cheering on friends who were coming through the Heartbreak Hill portion of the race, which winds through our hilly campus. Living on the Chesnut Hill side of Commonwealth Avenue the runners raced past my door all day. Until suddenly everything stopped.

But as I reflect today, I remember the Boston Marathon for what it truly is, what it really means to the city of Boston and the nation as a whole, beyond the darkness of the events that transpired - it is a celebration of human achievement and the spirit of man. I remember the look on runners’ faces as they came through Heartbreak Hill, and the light in their eyes when they saw us cheering them onward. I remember their elation, and the fighting look on their faces, drenched in sweat and still smiling, as they headed down home stretch. I remember the runners, men and women, soldiers and athletes in wheelchairs, giving it their all for the sport and city they love. I remember what it feels like to be one.

Today we send our thoughts and energy to Boston, and to those still healing a year later. We celebrate the city, and all of the athletes who continue to awe us at the marathon each year by defying human limitations.

In honor of the city, which has always prided itself on being a literary city, here are five great books that take place in Boston:

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27 Tips to Help You Pitch the Media

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By Brian Feinblum, Senior Vice President and Marketing Officer

Sometimes we get into a slump when it comes to pitching, or maybe we just hit a bad streak with the media. Perhaps you feel overloaded. Maybe our busy outside lives have clouded our minds from doing our best job in the office. Whatever the reason, you just find you want to perform at a higher level, so what can you do?

 

Ideally, here’s what you want in a successful pitch:

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4 Anti-Heroines in Literature Who Are Inspiring, Admirable and Tough as Nails

By Alexandra Israel, Publicist

I recently came across a Flavorwire article called “The Bookshelf: Unlikely Heroines in Literature,” which made me start thinking that there are so many anti-heroines in literature, but how exactly do you accurately describe what an “anti-heroine” is?

By definition, an anti-heroine is “a female protagonist, as in a novel or play, whose attitudes and behaviors are not typical of a conventional heroine.” Flavorwire had a more up-to-date definition, inspired by author Leslie Jamison: “Fairy tales introduce us to certain standard breeds of heroine: beautiful innocents, homely martyrs, and plucky tomboys. These heroines aren’t those ones… they make it hard to look away.” This definition is true; anti-heroines are sometimes what keep us going in long novels.

Here are four examples of anti-heroines that I’ve come across recently—some of them have qualities that are admirable and others survive hardships that are inspiring:

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What Inspires You To Do Good? A Look at the 2014 Good Deeds Day New York City Takeover

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Deborah Kohan, Johanna Dickson, and Alexandra Israel stand infront of a Good Deeds Day double-decker bus

By Deborah Kohan, Senior VP and Director of MC en Español

What inspires you to do good in this world?

On March 5th, hundreds of New Yorkers rallied together to help others and participate in a day long volunteer marathon: Good Deeds Day NYC Takeover. The first Good Deeds Day started out in Times Square, where volunteers from non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporations boarded our Good Deeds Day branded double decker bus.

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