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Giving the Gift of Literacy

11/27/2012
We are accustomed to hearing the adage, “Tis better to give than to receive.”
 
Massanutten Regional Library, along with World Book Night U.S., is making it easy to give this year. You can give a gift of literacy! The cost to you: your time! You can begin by signing up for the project this holiday season at www.worldbooknight.org.
 
The second annual World Book Night U.S. will be held April 23, 2013, when approximately 25,000 volunteers nationwide will give away a half million books.  April 23 is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Day of the Book. It was chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 in the Catalan region of Spain. This day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one. Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His most notable work is Don Quixote.   
 
Massanutten Regional Library Main will be a “book-holding storehouse” and conduct a distribution night and event on April 16, 2013 for participants who have signed up for the endeavor. Participants will pick up their selected World Book boxes from MRL and distribute their books to their selected persons on April 23, 2013. 
 
How does one become a participant? Members of the public who want to serve as book givers and hand out 20 copies of a particular title in their community can apply on-line and pick a book title from a list selected by a panel of booksellers and librarians. The time to sign-up is now.   
 
Participants must be 16 years of age and pledge to give out the books, free of charge, to promote literacy in their communities. The objective is to reach light and/or non-readers.  Stipulations include not giving the books to friends, family, or book groups.
 
Last year volunteers gave away books at prisons, health clinics, Indian reservations, and schools. It’s the second year that a coalition of U.S. publishers, booksellers, and librarians are organizing the national effort modeled after the World Book Night established in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2010. The authors of the books waive their royalties and the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the specially-printed World Book Night editions. 
 
“The process of signing up is very simple and takes little time,” says Cheryl Griffith, Community Relations Manager at Massanutten Regional Library. “The most difficult part was deciding which of the 30 titles I wanted to give away! I look forward to surprising and giving unsuspecting recipients a free book.” 
 
The authors selected include a mixture of some old and current friends. The books picked include such popular authors as John Grisham, Alexander McCall Smith, Nora Roberts, David Sedaris, and old favorites such as Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, and Willa Cather. 
 
The selected books include such titles as Playing for Pizza, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Montana Sky, Me Talk Pretty One Day, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Fahrenheit 451, and My Antonia.
 
Other titles picked include The Language of Flowers,  Moneyball, Look Again, Population: 485, Mudbound, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Tender Bar, Favorite American Poems, Glaciers, Salvage the Bones, Still Alice, and Devil in a Blue Dress.  Two books will be available in English and Spanish: Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.
 
For a complete list and description of books selected for the April 23rd event and to sign up to be a book giver, please check www.us.worldbooknight.org.

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