Free books to be given on World Book Night
Last year, a new tradition began in communities across the U.S., England and Ireland — a tradition created with the sole purpose of spreading the love of reading and books to others.
World Book Night is a volunteer effort involving authors, publishers, literary agents, booksellers, librarians and above all, readers that will culminate on Tuesday, April 23, with the distribution of hundreds of thousands of free books.
The date of the event is significant because it coincides with the birthday of one of the world’s most iconic authors, poet and playwright William Shakespeare.
In Detroit Lakes, the April 23 celebration will take place at La Barista inside the Washington Square Mall, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Local organizer Ruth Solie will have 20 copies of the book “The House on Mango Street” on hand to give away during the event.
According to Solie, who selected the book from among the 30 titles available for this year’s World Book Night event, “The House on Mango Street” is a classic “coming of age” story set in the midst of Chicago’s Hispanic community.
Author Sandra Cisneros created the novel because, as Solie put it, “She read books and watched TV shows growing up, but they never seemed to reflect (life in) her home, or her community.”
The paperback copies of Cisneros’ work that will be distributed on April 23 were specially published just for World Book Night, Solie added.
But World Book Night is about more than free books, she noted. There is no age limit, so readers old and young are welcome to attend.
“This event is open to everyone,” Solie said. “It’s about gathering individuals who love to read and share books, and building a sense of community among them.”
The inaugural World Book Night was held in 2012, and Solie had wanted to apply to host a local event at that time, but was unavailable on April 23 — so she decided to do it this year instead.
“I love the idea of sharing books, encouraging reading, and talking about authors and books,” she said of her enthusiasm for the event.
As it happens, April is also National Poetry Month, and Solie, an aspiring writer herself, will also be distributing free copies of “Poetry” magazine during the event at La Barista.
“And we’ll be serving refreshments as well,” she added. “It should be a lot of fun.”
For more information about World Book Night, please visit the website at WorldBookNight.org.
Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.