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DL to host World Book Night event on April 23

Kim Bettcher, left, and Amy Stearns were among last year’s World Book Night attendees. SUBMITTED PHOTO

For the second year in a row, April 23 will be a date to remember for all those who love to spread the joy of reading.

That’s the date when Detroit Lakes will once again join with communities around the globe in celebrating World Book Night — a one-day event where half a million free books will be distributed in more than 6,000 communities across the United States.

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.

This year, local organizer Ruth Solie will be joined by Moorhead resident Gwendolyn Hoberg in distributing copies of not just one, but two different titles during the Wednesday, April 23 festivities at La Barista in Detroit Lakes.

Both Solie and Hoberg are board members of the Lake Region Writers Network. Hoberg is the owner of Content & Contour, LLC in Moorhead, and Solie is a retired librarian living in Detroit Lakes.

Solie will be giving away 20 copies of “The Lighthouse Road” by Minnesota author Peter Geye, while Hoberg will distribute 20 copies of the Joseph Heller classic, “Catch-22.”

“Both are books that invite conversation,” said Solie — and both are being offered free of charge, on a “first-come, first-served” basis. There is no charge to attend, and there are no age restrictions.

“It’s open to everyone,” Solie said of the book giveaway. The event will begin at 1 p.m., and continue until the last book is in the hands of a grateful reader.

“When they’re gone, they’re gone,” Solie said, noting that at last year’s inaugural event in Detroit Lakes, “The books went really quickly.”

World Book Night U.S. is part of an ambitious campaign to encourage reading and giving, by enlisting the help of 25,000 volunteer book lovers to personally give away specially printed books to those who are either light or non-readers, as well as to those who would not normally have the means or access to enjoy them.

A total of 35 different book titles were chosen for distribution during World Book Night, by an independent panel of booksellers and librarians, with input from last year’s givers (which included Solie). Thousands of copies of each title have been printed in special, not-for-resale paperbacks, for distribution on that day only.

For more information about World Book Night, please visit the website at

Follow reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454