BOYCEVILLE – With a most noble objective to spread the love of reading from person to person, World Book Night coordinated the giveaway of half a million free books in the United States for a second consecutive year on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
More than 25,000 volunteers from Sitka to Sarasota and Berkeley to Boyceville distributed free books in more than 6,000 cities in the United States.
“The idea behind World Book Night US is to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light and non-readers across America on one day,” said retired Boyceville educator and local volunteer book giver Joe Pieters.
Pieters presented several boxes of new paperbacks to students in Brian Roemhild’s class at Boyceville High School April 23. Accepting the books were students Josh Miller, Jo Carlson, and Travis Scmidt.
The mission of World Book Night, which began in the United Kingdon in 2010 and was held for the first time in the US last year, is to seek out those without the means or access to printed books. It is held annually on April 23 – the birthday of William Shakespeare.
Bestselling authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson were this year’s honorary chair-people.
James Patterson said: “In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night — it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing, enjoyable books. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
“I’m very proud to be a part of World Book Night,” Ann Patchett added. “As both a writer and a bookseller, I’m all in favor of getting books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have access to them.”
30 different book titles, including Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Moneyball by Michael Lewis, Middle School, The Worst Year of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain among others, had been chosen by and independent panel of booksellers and librarians through several rounds of voting. The printing of the free books was made possible due to the generosity of the authors, publishers, and book manufacturing companies.
Pieters gave credit to the Menomonie book store “Bookends on Main” and it’s owner Susan Schoenbauer Thurin, a retired UW-Stout English professor, for organizing this year’s local giveaway.