By Nicole Martineau, Associate Publicist
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
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.
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.