Wednesday, April 24, 2013
World Book Night 2013
Once again this year I was a Book Giver for World Book Night, April 23, 2013. This year I gave away 20 copies of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
I gave the book to a variety of people at a variety of locations...different ages, genders, and races. I hope at least some of them read the book and love it. I went to a city hall and gave one to the front desk receptionist; I gave one to a young guy at the McDonald's drive-through; four to staff at a restaurant where I frequently buy lunch; two to clerks at a convenience store; one to a photographer setting up for a photo shoot; and most of the rest I gave to random people I bumped into in the office building where I work. I either saw their door open and walked in to give the book, or caught them in the hallway as they were unlocking doors.
Most people were happy and thanked me. Only one person challenged me, and that was because she happened to be the property manager and was concerned that I was soliciting, something that the building does not tolerate. Since I knew I was not trying to make a sale or to get anything at all in return for the book gift, I was surprised that she even thought of it as soliciting. But... I should have realized that's what it would look like. I assured her I was just "sharing the love of reading" and she let me on my merry way (and took a book - I hope she reads it).
The idea of the book give-away is to present the books to non-readers and light-readers. How am I supposed to know who they are?? I sort of love giving away the books, but I sort of don't. I do feel a little awkward walking up to strangers and thrusting an object at them. I think, if I do this again next year, I will choose a place where I know they are light readers, such as a literacy center or a reading specialist classroom. I think it would be fun to present all 20 books to a room of 20 reading learners. I could contact a teacher ahead of time and get the teacher's permission to appear with a bunch of free books. That sounds more fun than just hitting up random strangers.
If I like the list of titles they offer next year, I will probably apply again. How about you? Don't you want to join me in sharing the love of reading?