4/20/2012 11:13 PM

Monday, April 23 is World Book Night (WBN), a day when thousands of people around the world will give away free books in an attempt to spark interest in the written word and ultimately create a better society.
“Books can have an incredibly beneficial impact on people’s understanding of the world and the building up of empathy, “Jamie Byng, the creator and chair of World Book Night said in an interview with TIME. “The more people you have reading, the saner and safer a society is."

WBN volunteers aim to give away a million pre-selected titles during the second annual event (the first in the U.S.), books that include The Hunger Games, Wintergirls, The Stand, Kite Runner, and The Book Thief (check out the full list here). Each volunteer, or “giver,” receives 20 free copies of a certain title and is free to hand them out to whoever they wish. However, World Book Night officials obviously hope to reach areas with the greatest need for reading materials.

“One of the things we’re focusing on this year is getting into hospices and care home libraries and prisons, you know, places where they have a very difficult time getting books, for financial reasons,” Byng said. “And these are places where I think the books will really be enjoyed and have a real impact."

WBN officials chose April 23 for World Book Night because it is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, chosen in honor of Shakespeare and Cervantes, who both died on April 23, 1616. Shakespeare was also born on April 23.

Check out WorldBookNight.org for more information on upcoming events. Though it’s too late to volunteer as a giver, the site is taking names for next year’s celebration.

Categories: Books Posted by Christy on 4/20/2012 11:13 PM | Comments (0)


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