Last year was the first year that the Barrow Media Center participated in World Book Night. It was such a fun and rewarding experience, that I knew we had to do it again. On World Book Night, each “giver” receives 20 copies of a certain book to hand out in the community. The process is really simple. A few months before April, applications open. You submit an simple application explaining how you will hand out the books. If your application is approved, you select where you will pickup your books. I always pick mine up at our local independent bookstore, Avid Bookshop. They hold an event where givers can meet one another and exchange of ideas of how to hand out the books in the community. Then, on April 23, you hand out your books.
Here’s a little more from the World Book Night website,
World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—through the sharing of stories.
World Book Night is a nonprofit organization. We exist because of the support of thousands of book givers, booksellers, librarians, and financial supporters who believe in our mission. Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night was first celebrated in the U.S. in 2012.
This year, my book was Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon. I was so happy that this was the book I was selected to give because it’s a book that I’ve hoped many of our students would pick up. Rather than randomly hand the book out in our community, I decided to target specific students in our school. Teachers in 4th and 5th grade helped me select 20 students via a Google doc. Each student was chosen for various reasons. There was no set in stone way to choose a student other than we wanted to put the book in the hands of a student who could use a new book in their home library and who would enjoy reading this book.
At 1:00, all of the students came to the library. I told them about World Book Night and we visited the World Book Night website. I told them about being a giver and picking up my books at Avid Bookshop. Then, I showed them the book. We visited the Candlewick site where we could watch a trailer for Zora and Me. I read the back of the book to all of the students.
Then, I got to say the words I was so excited to say…”I’m giving a copy of Zora and Me to all of you. Every single student was so excited. Some of them jumped up to help pass them out to the group. I loved watching them immediately open the book and start reading it. I also gave them all a bookmark.
I told them that my hope is that they would read the entire book, share it with their families, tell me what they thought of, and cherish the book as a part of their home libraries. I look forward to hearing from them very soon. One student told me she would probably have it finished by tomorrow!
World Book Night is an amazing experience. It seems small when you first sign up, but you are filled with emotion when you put your book in someone’s hand with the wish that they will read it and love it.