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.
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.
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.
Title: Photo Idea Index
Author: Jim Krause
Publisher: How Books
Date Finished: 1/9/13
I’ve had this book for about a year but continually put off reading it because of my assumption that it would be useless without access to a better camera. I finally read it last month after getting my first dSLR only to find my original assumptions to be 100% wrong. This was a great way to get started with my new camera, but I should have read it much sooner.
I typically don’t like reading how-to books since I learn better by doing but, as the back cover says, this is not a typical how to book. It is absolutely full of practical ways to improve the overall quality of your photos. After reading I not only felt more confident about the photos I’d taken in the past, but also more free to experiment when taking new ones- needless to say it was a good way to get started with my new camera. Reading this also cemented my belief that it takes more than a fancy camera to make someone a photographer.
This book was written to be accessible. It’s doesn’t focus on the technical aspects of photography (although it does contain useful information about those as well), so you can benefit from reading even if you don’t have a fancy camera, equipment, software, or even previous knowledge of photography. With that said, even experienced photographers who do have fancy cameras and equipment can get something from reading. The book explains the importance of cultivating creativity and a new perspective and proves that there are opportunities for good photos everywhere. Whether you have a camera bag full of gear or just the camera on your phone, this book can help you take better photos. It’s even on sale now so there’s no excuse not to check it out!
Look inside Photo Idea Index: http://www.jimkrausedesign.com/pii_1.html
Buy here: http://www.mydesignshop.com/photo-idea-index
More on Jim Krause and his work: http://www.jimkrausedesign.com/index.html