A Very Late WBN USA Post

Standard

In April I was lucky enough to be selected as a bookgiver for World Book Night USA. Every year they compile a great list of books and work with stores, libraries, and volunteers around the country to deliver free copies of each book on the list to people who don’t normally choose to read or who don’t have access to books. 

I was really excited to have been chosen. I got a copy of Favorite American Poems a few weeks before the event so I could read it before giving it out. I don’t normally go for poetry, but I actually enjoyed this compilation. It was my second choice of the books on the WBN list (the first being Bossypants by Tina Fey) but it seemed like something that a wider variety of people would be interested in. 

The experience of actually handing out books to strangers was interesting. I didn’t think I’d have to convince anyone to take free books but everyone was hesitant. Some thought I was trying to sell or promote something or that the books were stolen. 

We dealt with a lot of rejection, but in the end we were able to get all twenty copies of Favorite American Poems into the hands of strangers. 

Image

I’ll never forget one man I offered a book to on his way into a grocery store. He looked at the cover of the book and simply said “No. Who has time for that nonsense?” and continued into the store. A minute later he came back out and said “Aw hell gimme one of those”

On our way home we drove passed him sitting on a bench, reading his new book. 

Image

 

World Book Night only happens once a year (unfortunately), but you can still check out their book lists. Keep an eye on their website next April for more information on how to apply as a Bookgiver. 

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “A Very Late WBN USA Post

  1. Sounds like fun.
    Here in Finland we have many “bookcrossing” points where you can leave your books and/or take something new to read. Sometimes you can even find a book on a local train with a little note that it’s for “crossing”. The notes are also good, because then someone can’t take all of them and e.g. sell them for a profit. It’s supposed to be fun and free.

    Happo, rate my blog 3 on swap-bot.

  2. This is the coolest thing ever! I had no idea there was a program to give out books like this. I am definitely going to have to see if next year I can have a chance to be a book giver! I love the story of the man who didn’t have time for poetry and then ended up not only taking a copy, but engrossed. Who knows, you may have created a poet! Bookcrossing, like Happo is talking about sounds like fun too. I wish we could get that going around here, as it is a very impoverished area and a lot of people do not have money to buy books, but from working at the bookstore in the past and seeing how people handled the Free box…lol I don’t think it would work out here. There were too many people who just stole the entire box of books, box and all. And people would actually steal books from the local library, complete with barcodes, and try to turn them in for store credit with us! lol Still though, it seems like there has to be a way to make it work…lots of food for thought here 😀

  3. smadronia

    Okay, this idea is awesome. I thought when I glanced at the post title, that it was Women’s NBA for some reason (I’m tired), but the idea of giving out books to perfect strangers sounds so cool.
    I looked at 2013’s list, and 3 books I really like, The Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451, and the Phantom Tollbooth are on there. I may have to see about becoming a volunteer next year.

  4. I loved reading about your WBN experience handing out books. I was surprised that people wer hesitant and especially got a smile out of the gentlemans funny “give me one of those” afterthought. I’m off to learn about this event, it sounds intriguing! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

  5. Carol says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    July 26, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I loved reading about your WBN experience handing out books. I was surprised that people wer hesitant and especially got a smile out of the gentlemans funny “give me one of those” afterthought. I’m off to learn about this event, it sounds intriguing! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
    Carol aka myartistry rate my blog 3 on swap-bot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s