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World Book Night uses free books to spread the love of literature

By Victoria Advocate
April 24, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
Updated April 23, 2013 at 11:24 p.m.


From reading Ul De Rico's "The Rainbow Goblins" with my dad before bedtime as a child, to years of exploring everything from "Ender's Game" to "The Babysitter's Club."

Then on to the more challenging and soul-wrenching novels of adulthood - classics such as "Little Women," "Ulysses," "The Martian Chronicles," "The Book Thief."

Books have been part of my identity from the very beginning and continue to aid me as I grow older - if not wiser - with every year and every book.

A book is one of the few constants in a world where everything changes every day, where nothing is predictable or steadfast, except your favorite book. That book will be the same dependable story you love for the rest of your life.

Due to my everlasting devotion to these paper companions I have carried with me all these years, I attempt to spread my love of reading to those around me.

I buy books for friends, convince them to get them if we're in a store together and find piles of them to lend out. I also take part in a wonderful event called World Book Night.

World Book Night is a tradition to share the love of reading by doing what all bookworms love to do, give people books. For free.

Each year, 30 books are chosen by a panel of book experts (librarians, booksellers), and the authors waive their royalties. Then, special copies are printed, and they are distributed to World Book Night givers.

According to worldbooknight.org, I am one of 25,000 givers across the U.S. that give a total of half a million books within their communities.

I became a giver by writing of my voracious love of reading and faith in the power of literature. In return, World Book Night provides me with 20 copies of a book to give out to my community. The idea is that we, as givers, spread our love of books to nonreaders, light readers or those in need by giving them great books.

Some givers stand on subway corners with "Free books!" signs. Some give books randomly on the street or in coffee shops to people who might appreciate it. Others give them to specific groups in their community they think might benefit from the books.

We all do it differently, for our own reasons.

Last year, I donated my set of books to an elementary school in the New York community I lived in because I was told their library needed books. I'd like to do the same this year, and I'd like your help with that.

If readers send suggestions of local schools that could use 20 beautiful copies of "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan, it would help me get these books to a school that could truly use them.

If you aren't familiar with the book itself, "The Lightning Thief" is the first grand adventure of young Percy Jackson in his attempt to figure out who his father is and save the world at the same time. It is a romping good book, appropriate for children from fifth to seventh grade.

Readers may send suggestions to kduncan@vicad.com.

I'll be waiting and, probably, reading.

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