Monday, April 23, 2012
I just had the opportunity to give away 20 copies of one of my favorite books, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The occasion? World Book Night, a celebration of reading where 500,000 books will be given away in the United States. The books were provided by volunteer printers making special editions of thirty different books. World Book Night is also being held in the United Kingdom and Ireland. A complete list of books can be found here.
I chose to give away The Book Thief because it was one of the most moving books I had ever read. Markus Zusak has a unique ability to reach directly into my heartstrings and toy with them until they are frayed and tormented and yet purified in the process. The Book Thief was unique, bizarre, heartrending and beautiful, and I want other people to have the chance to experience the same emotions I experienced with them.
I didn't give the books away in any particularly special way. I walked through my neighborhood (which is a huge housing complex with thousands of residents) with my little sister (too many books to carry by myself!). When I saw people, I asked them if they wanted a book. Everyone I talked to said yes. I also went through the laundry building and left copies of the books in the empty laundry baskets perched on top of dryers. Finally, with my last remaining books, I made a few doorstep drops. I know that for me to open my door and discover a new, beautiful book would be like Christmas morning.
World Book Night was an amazing experience, and I am looking forward to participating next year. Next year I will be in Los Angeles and hopefully working in a hospital (if all my dreams come true, on a cancer floor), so I am already full of plans for next year. I hope all of you that participated in World Book Night had positive experiences, that those of you who didn't are planning on next year, and that some of you received books of your own. Happy World Book Night!