World Book Night Seeks Volunteers

World Book Night (WBN), an annual celebration of reading and books, was established last year in the UK, and this year is coming to the US. The concept of WBN is simple: give free books to people who would otherwise not have the opportunity or motivation to read them. On April 23, 2012, thousands of volunteers across America will pass out bestselling books from a list preselected by WNG organizers (see below), hoping to promote printed books, libraries, bookstores and literacy. Sounds great, right? You can sign up to be a volunteer here.

Volunteers will receive 20 free copies of their selected book, which they are then responsible for distributing on April 23. Initially I had some difficulty coming up with places where I could distribute my books. But then I realized that I could take the books with me throughout the course of my day — to the gym, the bank, Starbucks, the restaurant where I work — and drop a few copies off to people along the way. As far as volunteering goes, that’s about as easy as it gets.

“The goal is to give books to new readers, to encourage reading, to share your passion for a great book. The entire publishing, bookstore, library, author, printing, and paper community is behind this effort with donated services and time. And with a million free World Book Night paperbacks!” (WBN website)

Below is the list of WBN paperbacks available for distribution:

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Blood Work by Michael Connelly
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  • A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  • Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The History of Love by Nicholas Krauss
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Photo credit: sleepyneko


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

I want to do this next year! I have great ideas for distributions!

Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

Missed the sign-up date. Will be doing something ealse.

Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

Would like to distribute books on April 23, Leaning yes because 1. I do not recognize those books on the list. Will sign up with the plan to give books.

Bridget M.
Past Member 6 years ago

Great idea.

Portland N.
P. L. Neola6 years ago


I finally got my answer today from the Las Vegas - Clark County Library District, and it was not the answer I expected to get from them. The LVCCLD consists of 14 urban branches, 11 outlying branches, and 4 other library systems. It is not a small library district!

Here is a copy and paste of the email I received from them without my email address:

Greetings email address [Portland N.]

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We were unaware of this event and currently do not have plans to participate this year.

Jon White

Virtual Library
Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
7060 W. Windmill
Las Vegas, NV 89113

Some of you might want to check into whether your library district will be participating in World Book Night or not!

Portland N.
P. L. Neola6 years ago


I called and talked to someone employed by the Las Vegas Clark County Library District.

The Reference representative had no idea what I was talking about, but she explained to me that by clicking on the “Ask a Librarian” button that I could send an email message and the link to the article. I did just that a few minutes ago.

The representative or representatives can read the article, check out the 30 books, and the volunteer application. If they were not planning on participating, then, maybe the article, the books, and the application might change their minds. Hopefully, they will get in touch with the WBN organizers during the next few days.

I should get a reply sometime early next week, I believe!

Deb M.
Deborah M6 years ago

I signed up and now keeping every appendage crossed in hopes of being one of the chosen 8)

Julia W.
Julia W6 years ago

I signed up! I hope I get to do it! I've read eleven of the books on the list.

Kathleen L.
Kathleen L6 years ago

Just signed up! This will be so fun!

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel6 years ago

I've only read one of the books....great idea!

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