Wednesday, May 1, 2013

World Book Night 2013

Recently, Book Passage and some of our customers took part in World Book Night (WBN). Each year, thirty books are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors of the books waive their royalties and the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the specially-printed WBN U.S. editions. Bookstores and libraries sign up to be community host locations for the volunteer book givers. 

Givers apply to hand out twenty copies of a book in their community, pick up their books from their local store or library, and on April 23rd give their books to people who, for one reason or another, don’t normally have access to printed books. Many of us at Book Passage were also givers. Between the members of the public who picked up books and Book Passage employees, we gave away more than 1,200 books. Among other locations, books were given out at the San Francisco Jail and to Homeward Bound of Marin, a shelter that transitions homeless people from the streets to permanent homes. We can’t share all the great stories, but here a few:

“The World Book Night event was fantastic,” said Krista Pelletier, program coordinator for Meals on Wheels. “All of the clients sincerely enjoyed receiving the books and give a warm hearted thank you. Almost all of the seniors in our program are homebound, so receiving books to ignite their imagination is incredibly important.”

Patrons at the Ferry Building Book Passage browse free books on World Book Night
Janel Feierabend of our Corte Madera store gave away copies of La Casa en Mango Street at the Pickleweed Community Center in the Canal area of San Rafael. “The title and author were ideal for the recipients,” said Janel. “Sandra Cisneros is well received among the Spanish-speaking population all across the world, and the book isn’t too thick or intimidating.  Please tell the publishers involved that it brought such joy to the recipients at Pickleweed!  Within minutes, those who were waiting for children and had nothing to do became involved in the story.  At one point, it looked like a giant book club with readers’ noses in the books, already smitten.  I hope they didn’t forget about their kids!

“I also met two gentlemen from Guatemala who had been meeting with others regarding a future statue of a historic figure in Guatemalan history.  Two hours later, I had learned a lot about their country, and they had asked about books at Book Passage.  One of them pulled out his cell phone and showed to me a photo he had taken with Isabel Allende years ago at Book Passage!  The other had just returned from Washington, DC and had met senators and White House staff.  Both of them noted the huge importance of reading and education. It was quite an enriching experience for me! I’ll do it again next year—same spot.”

Kate Larson of our Corte Madera store gave away books at the Oakland Charter Academy, an East Oakland charter school that is “bare bones,” says Kate—“the kind of school where the teachers purchase classroom supplies with their own money; basic stuff like pencils, staples, paperclips, etc. Anyway, they don't have a library so maybe this could be the start.” Kate donated copies of The Worst Hard Times to the school, and a history teacher at the school was “thrilled and grateful to get copies for his American history class. For the first time I will be able to assign a summer reading book and not have to worry about paying for copies myself.”

Book Passage Ferry Building employee Cheryl McKeon had this to say. “At the CUESA Farmers' Market, The Language of Flowers was very well-received. . . . late that evening I had four books left from our distribution and offered them at a local BART station. ‘No, thanks, I don't read . . . but did you say Tina Fey? Yes, in that case!’  Can't wait for 4/23/14!” 

Amen to that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

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