September 24, 2012
International Book Week wants you
by Sal Robinson
Nobody knows what International Book Week is, but everyone wants to be part of it. Because it’s so easy to be part of. You don’t have to go to anything, you don’t have to donate anything, you don’t have to recommend or like or click or retweet anything. You just have to do something very simple with something you already have: books.
No, for International Book Week, which is probably an Internet meme — and in fact, in a reflection on the oddness of the Internet, many of the posts about IBW mention that they think it is an Internet meme, and not a “real thing,” though by this point it’s at least as real as World Book Night or National Poetry Month — you just do one thing.
Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, and post the fifth sentence. And don’t reveal the title.
Because I have a lot of books close to me, here’s a smorgasbord:
“Sure, Verona’s brothels weren’t famous, but, well, all the same.”
“To which Uncle Emmanuel could only answer ‘Ah! Ah—!’ completing with his gestures the unspeakable.”
“Would it be possible to withstand the constant tremulous throbbing of the running motor and the passenger’s desultory, soporific chatter in the enveloping fug of the bus?”
“I have to go straight there, straight from the airport to the sea to meet him.”
“While the crier with the noisemaker went from corner to corner reading the proclamation, the people walked about the streets and swore they would be willing to die for the Protector.”
“But Quangel goes on, not batting an eyelid, “Yes, talking and smoking cigarettes in the john, and skipping work, that’s all you’re good for, Dollfuss!’”
It’s not the Judgmental Bookseller Ostrich meme … but I’ll take it.
Sal Robinson is a former Melville House editor. She's also the co-founder of the Bridge Series, a reading series focused on translation.