World Book Night=Pure Joy

April 24, 2012

by Betsy Burton

I just got back from the Indian Walk-in Center in downtown Salt Lake City where I gave away 20 copies of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie in a little over 20 minutes. I would have given anything to have twice as many books—there’s a youth program there that would have cheerfully taken 30 and a new book club of Junior High kids who would have given anything to have enough copies to make it their first “read.”  They want to read all Native American writers—especially people writing now (so if there are any extra copies of Alexie’s book in the warehouse please send them their way!)

But the best part was handing copies of the book to people who had nodded doubtfully to the question, “would you like a free book I think you’re going to love” (or, in the case of the mothers who were there, “that your older children are going to love—and probably you too”)? One “customer” was a grizzled biker who said cheerfully, “Ya, I’ve got a kid in Junior High I’ll give it to.” Then he flipped through it, read part of the first page, and grinned. “I think I’ll read it first, though.”

I left feeling pure joy—at being part of something that can help spread this contagion of book love around the world, at being allowed to connect a specific book with a person who will love it and whose life it might change (over and over again—twenty times over), and for being part of the world of books. Who could have guessed, all those years ago when we started our store, that it would lead to such a life? Thank you Jamie and Carl and the ABA and the ALA and all you wonderful authors and publishers and booksellers and librarians! We did it.

An update from World Book Night

February 24, 2012

We’re really excited about the inaugural US World Book Night, April 23, 2012. How could we not embrace an annual celebration that is designed to spread a love of reading and books?

Any day now, those of you who signed up to be givers will receive an email with the title of the book you’ll be giving out on April 23! If not, you could check to see if the emails were blocked. However, if you registered more recently, after February 1, an email will be coming soon.

You’ll also be getting directions to go back online and choose from a menu of approved bookstores and libraries your box pick-up point for mid-April. The King’s English is an approved pick-up point and we would love to be yours! OR you may also get an email that lets you know a pick-up location will be designated for you. Either way, we hope it’s us…

You can also follow #wbnamerica and @wbnamerica on Twitter for updates and breaking news. World Book Night US is also on Facebook. And keep checking your email and the World Book Night website and our website for further updates.

And if you have questions, email World Book Night organizers at Please bear with them; they’re swamped, but happy! Their enthusiasm is infectious.

Thanks to all who signed up to be givers!

Spread the Joy of Reading with World Book Night

January 16, 2012

By Mona Awad

How would you like to give away free copies of your favorite book?

Sign up now to be a giver for World Book Night 2012, an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. Following its highly successful launch in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night will be held in the U.S. on April 23, 2012, and will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy of reading by handing out free World Book Night paperbacks. You’ll help promote the value of reading, printed books, bookshops and libraries to everyone all year.

How you can do it:

Sign up to be a giver. Receive free books. Give them away.

It’s as easy as going to the World Book Night website. Need some ideas? Consider these… Distribute Peace Like a River at the Trax station near the main library. Hand out The History of Love at the Senior Centre. Give out Wintergirls at your neighborhood school.

By signing up to be a giver, you’ll join thousands of givers on April 23rd in spreading the love of reading and books in your community. Remember, sign up only throughout the month of January.