Wednesday, March 02, 2011

World Book Night 2011 & My Book Giveaway 2000

On World Book Night, Saturday, March 5, twenty-eight thousand activists will give away 40,000 books in the UK and Ireland.  A screening committee chose the givers on the basis of letters explaining why they wanted to give away a particular book.  Each patron will distribute 48 copies of his or her selected book to members of the public on Saturday. 

It's sweet, a little corny, and remarkably random, but the list of 25 eclectic giveaway books chosen by a committee demonstrates an appreciation of all genres.  The "givers" must have shown the enthusiasm of the Oprah Book Club participants who write emails to explain why they love a book and want to appear on a Book Club segment of her show. Will people actually be giving away books at night?  There will be readings, etc.

I had my own Book Day in 2000, sort of.  Flush from a recent job,  I bought all the Signet classics at the mall.  Willa Cather, Sinclair Lewis, Dostoevsky, & Edith Wharton.  I gave away the books to people who worked in retail and service professions.

My first stop was the Elizabeth Arden counter. I needed a lipstick. The gals at EA love to read, have Harvard degrees, and are always kind about not insisting on a makeover.  They told me not to spend an incredible sum of money on an anti-wrinkle cream.  This in exchange for My Antonia and The House of Mirth.

Giuseppe di Lampedusa's The Leopard  went to a cook--all right, I did write about his restaurant first, but the story appeared before I gave the book to the happy chef (whose degree was in business and Italian).

An American Tragedy went to a hairdresser.

A convenience store clerk chose The Philosophy of Aristotle, and a manager at Dillard's selected Life on the Mississippi.

Everybody likes a good book.  

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