Sunday, April 22, 2012

Free books!

Tomorrow is the first ever World Book Night in the United States, and I'm in the mood for giving! (If you've followed the link from Facebook, don't care about World Book Night, and just wanna know which free books are up for grabs, scroll down past the second picture.)

Over the last so many months, volunteers from all over the country have applied to be Book Givers. That means they chose a book out of the 30 titles that the World Book Night folks are giving away and filled out an application detailing where they'd like to hand out books and why. The books were recently delivered to local bookstores or libraries where the Book Givers could pick them up along with some cool bookmarks and stickers. On April 23 (UNESCO's International Day of the Book), all those volunteers across the country will give the books out to the public! For free!

I'm really excited to have been chosen as a Book Giver on this inaugural year of World Book Night in the US (it's been done successfully in the UK before) and will be handing out my 20 free copies at the university where I teach. The book I chose, because my students so often respond strongly to shorter pieces by the author, was Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Tomorrow, after I've given my little box of books away, I'll report back on how it all went. But for now, I want to make an offer to those of you who won't be getting a great piece of literature for free. In the spirit of giving, and in the excitement of sharing stories, I went to Barnes & Noble (one of the companies helping cover shipping and production costs for all those free books going out tomorrow night) and bought new copies of 5 of my favorite books of all-time, and I'd like to give them to you.

I'll cover the shipping cost and everything, and I'll even slip in a cool bookmark. All you have to do is 'Like' the link to this blog post on my Facebook page or make a comment below. Tomorrow night, I'll draw 5 names from those who 'Liked' or commented, and I'll mail out a randomly chosen title to those drawn. If your name gets drawn and you get a book you've already read, just give it to someone else! Or if you see books someone you know might like, by all means, put your name in the drawing and give the book away the second you get it! Or get your book in the mail and take it straight to town and leave it on public transit. Or on your neighbor's doorstep. Or with your grandmother at the nursing home. Or wrap it up for your nephew's birthday. It doesn't matter to me! It's all about sharing stories.

Here are the 5 books I chose, and if you know me, you won't be surprised that they're all considered to be children's or young adult literature even though some of them are really and truly adult books. Either way, all of them are enjoyable stories for all ages and are books that have, in one way or another, changed my life.

Happy reading and good luck!