World Book Night is the coolest thing I’ve heard about in a while. It’s an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. Launched last year in the U.K., this year, logophiles in the United States will have a chance to participate in a coordinated event that will send tens of thousands of people out into their communities to give out free World Book Night-chosen paperbacks. On the evening of April 23, 2012–a date chosen to commemorate the anniversaries of Miguel de Cervantes’s and Shakespeare’s deaths–each of 50,000 “givers” will offer twenty books to people who aren’t frequent readers. I’m so excited to participate in this fantastic event, especially because some of my favorite books are among the thirty chosen to be given away: Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River, Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, among others.
To become a “giver,” register by February 1 on the World Book Night’s website. Your participation could be the catalyst for someone’s love of literature.