Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spreading the Love of Reading

I have talked several times about my love of reading, not only for my children, but for myself.  I have to admit, a few years ago I would describe myself as a light and maybe even a non-reader.  The only "reading" I got in was listening to books on CD while traveling with my job.  After LP was born I started reading to him right away because I knew how important it was.  However, I still wasn't reading that much for myself.  I loved reading but I just wasn't finding time for it.  I knew I couldn't expect my kids to find time and enjoy reading if I wasn't.  So, that is when I decided to start making time for reading and now reading and advocating for reading and literacy has become one of my passions.

I shared that passion for reading last night by passing out 20 free copies of "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed as part of World Book Night.  World Book Night is a program where 25,000 volunteers across the country pass out a half a million books to "spread the love of reading, person to person."  This initiative started three years ago with the goal of getting books into the hands of people, like myself a few years ago, who are light and non-readers, and encourage them to read a book.  World Book Night happens on April 23 every year, in observation of William Shakespeare's birthday.  The team at World Book Night works with countless publishers, authors and agents to get specially printed World Book Night editions of many books.  This year there were 36 books passed out.

Spreading the Love of Reading #WBN2014
Getting ready to go pass out "Wild"
Originally I had planned on passing out my books at the sight of the future Latimer Little Free Library to create awareness of the library, but with temperatures in the 40s and rain in the forecast, I decided to not stand outside and instead stop in at the Latimer grocery store, restaurant, auction house and truck stop to pass out my books.  And just like that, in 1 hour I had passed out 20 books and got to talk to familiar and new faces.  I am so proud to be apart of this program and love the reaction for the people who receive the books.  The first reaction is "free, this is really free!".  The second reaction is "this is so cool".  And the third reaction a lot of time is "I should start reading this tonight.  Thanks!".

For me, "Wild" was an easy sell since the book is being turned into a movie to be released this fall staring Reese Witherspoon.  "Wild" is memoir of the author's 1,100 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail crossing the Mojave Desert, California, Oregon and Washington after her Mom passed away and while she is in a failing marriage.  Strayed was in her mid-20s when she took this journey and she compiled journal entries to create this book.  The book is a biography/drama with a little bit of humor mixed in.

If you would like to learn more about World Book Night and get notified when they start taking applications for "givers" for 2015, sign up for the World Book Night newsletter.  Here are a couple posts that I have wrote about past World Book Night experiences:
The first year I passed out copies of "Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream" by H.G. Bissinger to and through my high school youth group and the second year I passed out copies of "Bossypants" by Tina Fey at the local truck stop to travelers from the interstate.

Have you heard of World Book Night?  Have you been a giver or a receiver of a World Book Night book?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


  1. I just put an update on my post from this morning! Mine are now all gone and what I have determined is that I made it far too difficult for myself! I had high expectations of my first location and it just did not happen. I ended up handing out more at Hospice and Homestead Assisted living and even to the Fed Ex man! Not sure of the percentage that got into the hands of low to light readers but they all have found homes and that is what counts at this point. Great post about the ins and outs of WBN!!! Thanks, Val! I love that we have this in common now!

  2. I personally used to sell books, so I'm an advocate of reading for sure! I go in spells with my reading, I always have a book in my purse, a book I'm reading at home. And I listen to books on CD in my vehicle. I used to rock my babies and read out loud to them from my book. And I have grandkids, but I have lots of kids books in my personal library. And no, I've never done World Book night.

  3. I heard of World Book Night but didn't know what it was. My husband read that book and liked it a lot!

  4. I have read Wild, too. Loved it.