Okay, I have to confess, I’m not really sure about this venture. On the one hand I think World Book Night is a cool idea: on April 23rd a million free books are to be given out to folks who might not normally read books or have easy access to them. On the other hand, thousands of books being given away might cut into book sales. But, I do love the idea of folks getting books who might not normally read. So I have two minds about this. But, in my new spirit of saying yes more (one of my New Year’s resolutions right after going to the gym) I’ve signed up to be a book giver and a pick-up spot.
I absolutely love the idea of giving books to under-served populations. Getting involved means one of two things. Either you’re one of the people who signs up to give 20 books away or your store is designated a pick-up place.
To become a book giver you have to apply and then be selected. The World Book Night folks are hoping that 50,000 people will sign up before the February 1st deadline. You select your top three book during the application process and then I guess someone picks out 17 other books for you to give away, it’s not really clear on the website. I will say, the book list is fabulous and peppered with many of my favorites. The goal here is get folks excited about sharing beloved books with folks who might not know about them.
For instance I’ve signed up to be a giver and I’ll be giving my books to the women’s prison. I’ve been working with the prison and know that books are scarce and very needed. So it makes me happy to share some of my favorites with these women. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy the books as much as I do. This seems to be the real goal of World Book Night: sharing the love of books and highlighting literacy issues.
To be a pick-up location is an odd feeling. Basically, folks will come in and get a free box of books and leave the bookstore. We have signed up to be a pick-up location and I have no idea what to expect. Will we be overrun with boxes? I doubt it, but you never know. Honestly, I signed up because I didn’t want to be left out of the fun.
Apparently, the books featured in World Book Night last year in the UK saw a massive increase in sales because of the interest generated by the giveaways. I’m really hoping that happens here. There’s no way to know, but I’m optimistic about it.