Here's a graphic showing all of the books for 2014:
I was so pleased to be chosen as a giver for World Book Night US (WBN) for the third year. This year I chose to give out The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Even though I was pleased to be chosen for another year, I had some serious reservations.
I'm sorry to say that in my first and second year as a giver, I struggled to find places to give out books and then to actually giveaway books after a place was chosen. My first year I went to a local recreation center and attempted to give out books to the teens participating in an afterschool program. Some of them were interested in receiving anything for free, others were extremely wary about accepting a book even if it was free. It wasn't until I impressed upon them that they didn't HAVE to read the book, but might find it interesting if they did read it that they relented and accepted the free book. My first year's book choice was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and it took almost two hours to hand out 20 books.
My second year as a giver was a little easier, but not by much. I attended a local Pink Ribbon event and pretty much had a captive audience (or so I thought). Again I was astonished at the number of people that simply refused to accept a free book, no strings attached. My saving grace were students from a local massage therapy school that loved the idea of a free book that wasn't related to their studies. At least 10 of my 20 books went to the young men and women from this school. Thankfully they were in attendance to give short messages for other attendees and were quite happy about accepting the freebie. Several other vendors accepted copies of the book, but none of the attendees wanted a copy. My book for WBN 2013 was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It took almost 90 minutes to give out my 20 books in 2013.
Needless to say after two years of attempting to give out books, I was a little concerned about participating in WBN 2014. When I discussed my dilemma at a local book group, a friend suggested I contact a local shelter for women and families. I called and they said "yes, please come." I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I was hopeful that 2014 would be the year for my WBN participation. When I walked into the shelter last night I was a little surprised when I was told there were a few other givers present. I immediately thought, "oh no...I'm going to have problems again this year." My concerns about giving out book were doubled because I also was giving out a YA book (Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson) on behalf of another giver that couldn't participate at the last minute. If giving away 20 books was difficult, then 40 books was going to be disastrous, or so I thought.
I'm glad to report that 2014 was indeed THE year. All 40 of the books I had were distributed within a scant 30-35 minutes after my arrival at the shelter. These women, young women, and young men were so excited about getting books. Some of the mothers came in and chose a book for themselves and one for their children. Other mothers came in, grabbed a book, and came back with their children or friends to pick up a book. I was delighted to see so many people happy to receive books I could have cried. There were a total of 80 books given out at this local shelter and every single one was accepted with gratitude and a smile. This was why I signed up to be giver in 2012, 2013, and again this year. This made my previous two years worth the struggle. If that isn't reason enough to be happy then how about this, I've been invited to come back next year to give out books.
Here's a photo of just a few of the happy recipients from WBN 2014 from the shelter here in Charleston, West Virginia.
World Book Night's aim is to spread the love of reading from one person to another person. I hope that at least one person that received books on 04/23/2014 will discover that love.
Thank you World Book Night US. Thank you to all of the publishers, printers, and shipping companies that helped to make WBN 2014 a possibility. Thank you to the ladies in my book group for their suggestions on possible locations for 2014. Thank you to the YWCA of Charleston for allowing me to go to their local shelter and give out books. Thank you to my local library, the Kanawha County Public Library, for receiving our WBN books. And finally, a huge "thank you" to Elizabeth F. at the Kanawha County Public Library for assuming the duties this year for the WBN books and making posters for the WBN givers in our area. I hope I'm chosen to be a WBN giver in 2015 because this year was simply amazing!
Did you participate in World Book Night this year? Did you see someone giving out books for World Book Night? Please share your WBN story.