Today is a very special day in the world of books and reading. It is the inaugural World Book Night here in the U.S. and I am so very proud to be a part of it.
The idea is to get books into the hands of people who don’t read much but would like to read more. Thirty different, acclaimed books were carefully chosen and tens of thousands of people across the country are giving these books away today, myself included. I was lucky enough to give away a favorite of mine, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I read the book prior to starting this blog so there's no review handy but I will say it's an absolutely marvelous story, beautifully written, about faith, family, and personal conviction. Leif Enger's prose is gorgeous and breathtaking and if you trust me at all, do yourself a giant favor and pick up a copy of this book.
World Book Night began last year in the UK and this is the first year the U.S. has been involved. Other countries will follow suit and the aim is to give away one million books in a single day across the world.
Publishers, printers, and wholesalers made these special paperback editions available for free and authors and agents waived their royalties. Indie bookstores, chains, wholesalers, and libraries nationwide are on-board as are organizations like the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association. Even UPS helped out by shipping these thousands of books for free.
As a World Book Night giver, I received twenty copies and gave them away today at work and in my neighborhood. As I handed them out, I congratulated the recipients for being part of something much bigger and hoped they will love Peace Like A River as much as I do. Now it's out of my hands and in theirs.
If you'd like to learn more, please go to www.worldbooknight.org and mark your calendars for next April 23.
Many thanks to Leif Enger and to Carl Lennertz, el queso grande of WBN, for allowing me to play my tiny part. Well done, Carlo. You did it!