At the 2010 Book Industry Conference in London, a round table discussion came up with an intriguing and ambitious concept: what if bibliophiles shared their favorite books with people who don’t regularly read?
As a result, World Book Night was born.
Authors of selected books waive royalty fees so WBN can afford to print editions that will be handed out for free. For WBN 2014, twenty-five thousand volunteers are being coordinated across the nation—from Barre, Vermont to up and down the West Coast—to hand out 500,000 books.
This year’s selections include This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff, Bridge to Terabithia by Catherine Paterson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and Zora and Me by Victoria Bond. (See full list here.)
WBN will be celebrated on April 23rd in honor of Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes who both died on this day in 1616.
In conjunction with World Book Night, the California Shakespeare Ensemble, which has been partnering with Pasadena LEARNS to “facilitate” the John Muir High School after school Drama Club, will be working on Shakespeare’s Sonnets on April 23rd with the students.
Somewhat local WBN events:
Young adult author Jesse Andrews who wrote the hit Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will be at Diesel Malibu on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7 p.m. for a WBN Kick Off Celebration (a bit out of the way, but it could be a fun night-trip if there’s not too much homework). Malibu Country Mart, 23410 Civic Center Way, Ste. A-3, Malibu 90265. DieselBookstore.com.
Derek Kirk Kim, author of Same Difference will be at Skylight Books on Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7:30 p.m. for a WBN Kick Off Party. Take the CA-134 West to Exit 5 (Zoo Drive) and drive slowly through Griffith Park to Los Feliz Boulevard for a lovely end-of-the-day, meditation-while-driving-through-nature drive. All in attendance will receive a free copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz 90027. SkylightBooks.com.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children author Ransom Riggs will be at downtown’s Last Bookstore (definitely worth the metro ride) on Tuesday, April 22nd at a “Giver” reception beginning at 7:30 p.m. All in attendance will receive a free copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. 453 S. Spring St., L.A. 90013. LastBookstoreLA.com.
Hopefully next year we’ll have an event in our neck of the woods…
Offering free books to passerby…
Example, below, of Givers notes to recipients…
Acknowledgment from a recipient…