Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Book Night - Planning Makes the Difference

World Book Night takes place on April 23, when volunteers all over the country give away free books. I have been a book giver since the beginning of World Book Night here in the U.S. This year I had the most fun of all.

In the past I have wandered through the city, giving books to people in random venues such as near a homeless shelter or to people getting off a city bus. I had mixed reactions, some enthusiastic, some not.

This year I decided to plan more carefully. I contacted a teacher at a local adult learning center. We agreed on a time for me to come. I showed up and was pleased to discover that the class had talked about the book I was to give them, After the Funeral, and had learned a bit about the author, Agatha Christie.

There was a lot of excitement about getting a free book, both from the students and from the teachers. The teachers told me that they often use their own money to provide a classroom set of books. I talked about World Book Night, explaining that we were celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday, and some details about how it works through a large network of volunteers. They seemed impressed.

The class plans to read the book together, and as I have not yet read the book, either, I later purchased a copy for my Kindle and plan to read it along with them. Making this connection was a lot of fun!

If I am a giver again next year, I definitely will plan ahead. It makes a big difference when the recipients are prepared and excited.


Y B Normal? said...

I participated as a book giver last night also. I gave away books at the Gateway Transit Center in Portland, OR. East Portland is quite under-served, that is why I chose it. Some people were very enthusiastic about receiving a free book. Some less so. I even gave away a book to a person who was a reader. But I had a different plan for him. I talked up World Book Night and who knows, maybe he'll become a giver next year? :o)
I gave away all my books in about 45 minutes, despite (or maybe because of) the rain?
Your giveaway locale sounded really great.
I will probably do it again next year too.
a fellow book lover,

Anonymous said...

I love that they pose for the photo op, too. Way to go! Great post.

Nann said...

Two years ago I gave books to people returning on the train at the end of the day. I learned they weren't interested in getting a free book. They wanted to get home! So this year I was at the Zion Metra Station on Wednesday morning to give away The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. I had six copies left over and gave them away at Rotary on Thursday morning.

WBN was the topic of my column in our weekly newspaper.