February 19, 2013
World Book Night announces a series of launch events
by Nick Davies
World Book Night is coming up quickly, just two short months away. The national effort to give out free books to those who don’t usually have access to them is in its second year here in the U.S., and the organizers just announced a slate of fifteen events to kick off the evening of literary fun.
WBN has not yet announced the details for all the events that they have planned, but Shelf Awareness stated last week that one of them will be held at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN; Ann Patchett and James Patterson will make an appearance there as the program’s honorary chairs for 2013. The World Book Night website should have a map of all the festivities on their website soon. Meanwhile, its executive director, Carl Lennertz explained that their plan is for several simultaneous celebrations to kick off the nation-wide event:
We’ve all been envious of the U.K.’s Trafalgar Square pre-WBN shindig a few years back. I’ve always felt that cool as that was—and Jamie Byng and Julia Kingsford pulled off a miracle with that event—WBN in these rebellious states could not be New York-centric. It had to be coast-to-coast. The human ‘Read Books‘ under the Arch pulled together by the St. Louis Indie Alliance was pretty friggin’ beautiful, so this year, we’ll try and match it all with simultaneous events in a dozen places across America. Along with a few surprises in the works, and with pre-WBN receptions at more than 2,200 stores and libraries the week of April 15, I think we’ll have a pretty great show of book love that would please Shakespeare, Cervantes — and Admiral Nelson.
World Book Night promises to be bigger than it has been before. About 6,200 towns and cities will be participating this year, compared to 5,800 last year, which is about a 7% increase; and about 250 more libraries are taking part this time, thanks in part to the ALA.
Details about the various events should be posted on the official website soon, so keep an eye out if you want to join in.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.