Yesterday, April 23rd marked the first US World Book Night. What is World Book Night? It’s an event to help promote reading in teens and adults by giving away free books. Volunteers had 30 different books to choose from (we made a first, second and third choice in case they couldn’t get their first choice). The books were special printed and the authors of the books gave up royalties for the copies given out.
I decided I would give my twenty copies of Sherman Alexie‘s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian away at my local Starbucks and the plaza where I hang out the most and do my writing. Problem being? I’m super shy! I was able to give a couple away, but thankfully one of my closest friends was bribed by a free coffee to come help me. Thank God for her!
People were surprised but receptive. Free is free! The biggest surprise was probably from the guys in the Game Stop. Some of them totally didn’t want it but we pushed it on them. One of them, who said he reads on occasion, read a little aloud for everyone! He was quite into it. He just happened along the part of the story where the main character talks about his love of books and how it gives him a boner . They were sold after that. Heh boys can be predictable! Haha! There was one person who totally refused. Which made me sad. Who doesn’t want a free book? I figure she totally wasn’t a reader and that’s the kind of person this night is supposed to help the most. Shame.
I also contacted a couple friends of mine who are middle school teachers to see if they wanted a copy or two for their classroom or to give away to special students in their classes. I love the idea that the book can be kept in the room for students to read or given away as a special prize for a hardworking student who could get a lot out of that particular book.
With the books, they gave us a book giver pin, some stickers and bookmarks. Sadly, I only received seven bookmarks so I used some of my own promoting my book and some postcards promoting The Spirit Keeper written by my author friend Melissa Luznicky Garrett. Nice to be able to cross promote!
Even though I had to get help handing them out, I was still happy to be a part of the whole experience and look forward to doing it again next year. I’ll just have to work on my public speaking skills before then!
Did anyone else participate? I’d love to hear about your experiences!