for a quick recap: World Book Night began in Ireland and England where free books are given away to non-readers to encourage reading. this is it's inaugural year in the States. as you might remember, i'm giving away The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak:
as you can tell, the books are specially printed by World Book Night. they have no upc's and publishers and authors waive their royalty fees. it's a pretty incredible event.
i picked my box of books up from The Community Bookstore in Park Slope. they were (in the top ten or) the tenth biggest pick-up site in the country. for a WBN kick-off, author Nicole Krauss read from History of Love, one of the 30 books being given away today. see that tiny head below? Nicole Krauss.
all pretty amazing, no? yes.
except the part where you have to carry around all these books. now, me being me, i thought The (fabulous) Community Bookstore was in a different spot. (big supporter, eh? well i know where all my libraries are). the spot i imagined it lived was 12 streets closer to my house. which meant, the day i picked up my books and saw Nicole Krauss read (fyi her head is not tiny, it's lovely, i was simply far away and am a bad photographer) i slogged through Brooklyn much further than i would have ever wanted with forty pounds of books. (yes, yes i could have called a car service, but i was going to dance class first which is partway between home and the bookstore...too much whiny information, i know).
anyway, onward. i've decided to give half the books to Apple Arts which is an amazing organization that provides after-school arts programming to children living in homeless shelters.
Apple Arts is going to do a book club with their books. (they're also in the midst of a big fundraising campaign so they can keep the program going over the summer. they're looking for people to contribute as little as $2.)
disclosure: i know the director of Apple Arts. and we agreed that my restaurant would be a great place to hand-off the books. which meant, another 20 blocks hauling, this time, 20 pounds of books.
why didn't i take the train? my back is still asking me the same thing.
today will be the end of it. slogging only 15 blocks this time, i will deliver a surprise to 826NYC's after-school program, a place i used to volunteer and a huge supporter of reading and getting other people to read.
this was a great event. World Book Night is a writer and reader's dream, actually. our Earth Day, Mother's Day and Cinco De Mayo rolled into one. i'm totally doing it again next year.
i'll just pick a lighter book.