Ready to do a little advance planning? Mark April 23 in your calendar. It is the date that Shakespeare died. Also Cervantes. Plus it is UNESCO’s International Day of the Book. It is also World Book Night, when tens of thousands of volunteers in the US, UK, and Ireland will go out into their communities and give away free books to celebrate literacy and the joy of reading. You can sign up to be a giver here. All you’ll need to do is pick up 20 books (no, it doesn’t cost you money) and commit to distributing them on that night–to non-readers or light readers. Pass them out on the street, in a coffee house, at the gym, at a hospital, shopping mall, train or subway, school…and they are great books (special not-for-resale World Book Night editions are donated and sponsored by publishers and booksellers). Find the list of thirty 2012 titles for the giveaway here (I’ve only read some of these–would love to read several more!)
A million best-selling books will be given away free. This is one night a year–and should, hopefully, inspire more patrons to support booksellers and libraries year ’round. Spread the passion for reading, and get some folks reading!