World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books.
It was held in the U.S., as well as the U.K. and Ireland, on April 23, 2012. It was a wonderful day that saw tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks. Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night premiered this year in the U.S. April 23rd was chosen as it is
UNESCO’s World Book Day, as well as the anniversary of Cervantes’ death, and Shakespeare’s birth and death.
This year I was accepted as a giver and I couldn't be more excited to share The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. In addition to roaming campus to give books to those students I have never seen in the near vicinity of the Library, I decided to make a short video of myself reading the Prologue from the book in UNCP's Second Life library. I hope it encourages some non-readers to pick up this book, or any book, and read.
The Book Thief is a novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. Narrated by Death, the book is set in Nazi Germany. It describes a young girl's relationship with her foster parents, the other residents of their neighborhood, and a Jewish fist-fighter, who hides in her home during the escalation ofWorld War II. Published in 2005, it has won numerous awards and has been listed on the New York Times Children's Bestseller List for over 230 weeks
I was so excited to get my box in the mail. It was like Christmas - only better because I was going to get to be the Book Fairy for the day.
Finally the big day arrived, after much anticipation and I couldn't wait to get out with the books. Despite being on a college campus, there are quite a few students who never make a trip to the Library. I often hear seniors getting ready to graduate say they have never been to the Library on campus. Reading for pleasure is not as big here as reading to complete an assignment. I want students to love reading, not dread it. Additionally, we have the poorest county county in the state, the least amount spent on education, and a limited public library. All reasons I wanted to get out and spread the love of reading. I walked around the quad with a bag full of The Book Thief, randomly approaching students I didn't recognize. I explained I was from the Library (so they wouldn't think I was some random nut job) and that I was trying to promote reading by sharing free copies of this book. I only wish I had more books - as they went like hotcakes. I was able to give 20 books in less than 20 minutes! I included in each book a READ bookmark, a bookmark from our Library, and a slip of paper with my email and twitter handle on it, with a request for students to let me know what they thought of the book. I really hope I hear from some of them. It was thrilling - especially when the students seemed to be very excited by the book - like this group of girls.
Since I only had so many books to give away, I also made a short video of myself reading the prologue of the book - in order to share the book online. As I have a passionate hatred of seeing myself on a web cam, I used my Second Life avatar to read for me. Aurora Tutti is my Second Life librarian persona, working at the UNCP Second Life Library providing virtual reference and monthly book club/story time for grown ups. Using the Second Life voice interface, I recorded myself reading the prologue with an introduction to the World Book Night program.
It was really a wonderful day all around, and I can't wait for next year. I hope to be a giver again. Not to mention - the book list makes for an awesome summer reading list. If you are interested in more information about World Book Night, or just want to see the book list - head over to http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/.