This year I was very fortunate to participate in the first US World Book Night! This concept originally started in England and Ireland in 2011 and this year US joined in the fun. So what is World Book Night?
"World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books, which will see tens of thousands of people share books with others in their communities across America to spread the joy and love of reading on April 23."
I learned about this movement last year thanks to a newsletter I receive from Irish author Marian Keyes (I LOVE Her!), one of her books, Rachel's Holiday was selected, and when I saw about it this year I jumped at the opportunity and signed up as a Giver!
When I signed up I was able to make three choices from 30 titles, depending on the demand I would be assigned one of my choices. I was assigned The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a story about a geek outcast who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and finding love. The story is a darling and I choose it because it has to do with Latino culture, Geeky things and it was the only title offered in English and Spanish (I asked for the Spanish version)
The books were ready to be picked up by Mid-April, in my case at Bluestocking Bookstore, a charming new/used/rare bookstore in the heart of Hillcrest. It's a charming store, open for 44 years, with the current owners for the last 13 years or so.
The owners told me 17 Givers were assigned to pick up their book shipments from their store and on Friday April 20th, they hosted a get-together with all the Givers so we could meet each other and compare notes on how and where we would give our books.
There were many interesting ideas, one Giver was going to sit at her local coffee shop and start giving out the books at random. The Bluestocking Bookstore owners where going to go walking around Hillcrest. I choose to take my books to Casa Familiar, a community center in the heart of San Ysidro.
Casa Familiar is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the community, with educational and cultural programs, they promote health and fitness, as well as help the community with social services questions and guidance. Many years ago I donated exercise equipment for their fitness center and I was very glad to see it is in very good condition and in good use! According to CEO Andrea Skorepa they have shared over 3,000 books with the community so I was very happy to take the books to them.
The list of books was very impressive, and so was the organization of this event. It must have taken a lot of energy to coordinate the thousands of books donated by publishing companies and send them to the right givers at the right time. I've read 30% of the books included on the list, so I have some catching up to do. The following are a few of the books offered this year:
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Click here to see all 30 titles