April 25, 2013

wbn 2013

Tuesday night, I shared 20 copies of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood with one of our local community centers as part of World Book Night. They have youth and adult reading programs aimed at promoting literacy in Lincoln. I couldn't think of a better home for those books than a program committed to WBN's mission of providing books to light or non-readers.

This year's WBN approach was different than the one I took last year. You can read about last year's adventures here, but basically, I walked around Downtown Lincoln -- specifically the bar district -- with my little sister and shared our copies of John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany.

I'm not sure which approach is best.

The one I took last year was great, because I had a chance to interact with people one-on-one and engage in conversations about reading. But, in the time since sharing those books, I've had many of those people say the book is still sitting on their shelf waiting to be read. That's a little disappointing, but also understandable. You can't change a person's behavior from non-reader to reader magically. It takes a willingness on their part.

This year's approach undoubtedly took less time, which made me feel a little guilty. Initially, I planned to divide the books up amongst several local organizations needing books. I did some research, placed a few calls to find out how to go about donating and if they were even interested. When I spoke with the reading program organizer, and he explained what they would do with those books, I knew this was the perfect home for them.

I'm thrilled to know that because of the dedicated team and volunteers at this center, those 20 copies of The Handmaid's Tale will be read by at least 20 people who are determined to become readers.

Did anyone else participate in WBN this year? Which books did you give away? This year's list was pretty darn impressive -- I loved so many of the books on the list.

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