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World Book Night 2012

(Photo taken at Dog Eared Books on Valencia at 20th St. Dedicated NYRB Classics shelf.) I stumbled upon a post on World Book Night 2012, an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. To be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012. It will see 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.

According to the official website, this is how you can get involved: WBN havs a goal of getting 50,000 people to go out to places in their communities on the evening of Monday, April 23, 2012, and give a book to a stranger or to people you might know but believe aren’t frequent readers. WBN will ask that you go to a coffee shop or hospital, church or community center, an after-work party or train home, shopping mall or local school—and give out 20 free paperbacks. As library/librarians/IT archivists, our workplace has also signed up to be a book distribution point.

You may now wonder what books to give to the strangers. Below is the list of the twentyfive books chosen for World Book Night 2012. According to the site, these books “were selected partly by a public vote for the World Book Night top 100, with an editorial committee whittling down the list”, which may explain some of the odd nature of the list. I thought I’ll keep it simple for this meme: everything I’ve read is in bold, everything I’m not planning to ever read is struck out, and everything I want to read is in italics.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Take by Martina Cole
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Room by Emma Donoghue
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Misery by Stephen King
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Let the Right One In by John Ajvde Lindqvist
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
The Damned Utd by David Peace
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

8 Responses

  1. I signed up weeks ago and am crossing my fingers tightly. First choice is The Book Thief. Second choice is, of course, Rebecca. How cool that you get to participate one way or another. I’m thrilled they are doing this in the US.

  2. My 1st: The Remains of the Day, 2nd: Rebecca, and 3rd: A Tale of Two Cities. 🙂

  3. That’s actually a list of books many people would enjoy, even non-readers. I was expecting a much less interesting list. Rather a list fewer people would like.

  4. Read only one or two. Plan to read most. Is it only within the US?

  5. I think the U.S. is actually doing a different set of books from the ones you have listed (which might be for the UK?). I found a list a few days ago here on the official site, which is what I thought was going to be made available to participants in the U.S.


    I think both lists have a good variety of books. They do include certain titles that I have no interest in reading at all, and wouldn’t be interested in handing out, but then again, this is about giving books to people who don’t read a lot and some of the highfalutin’ books I read might not get them to see why reading is such a joy!

  6. I’m going to do this meme! 🙂

  7. […] to spread a love of reading and books.” If you’re interested in participating, check out his post for the full list of […]

  8. I have read 6 books out of the list and sign up for this year’s UK giveaways. I think this year’s selection wasn’t as good as previous year in my opinion, still I thought it is a great way to celebrate reading and encourage non-reader by giving away free books.

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