World Book Night is celebrated around the world on April 23. The purpose of this worldwide event is to encourage more adults to read. In 2012, almost 80,000 people distributed over 2.5 million books in four different countries.
A report by The National Endowment for the Arts, Reading At Risk: A Survey of Literacy Reading in America states that:
For the first time in modern history, less than half of the adult population now reads literature…While oral culture has a rich immediacy that is not to be dismissed, and electronic media offer the considerable advantages of diversity and access, print culture affords irreplaceable forms of focused attention and contemplation that make complex communications and insights possible. To lose such intellectual capability – and the many sorts of human continuity it allows – would constitute a vast cultural impoverishment.
The report also found that reading improves employability, social interactions, mental health, and happiness. It is with this in mind that World Book Night U.S. strives to help non-readers by inspiring them to read.
This year, an independent panel of booksellers and librarians selected 30 books that include classics like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Willa Cather’s My Antonia, as well as modern bestsellers such as David Benioff’s City of Thieves and David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day. The authors of the chosen books generously agreed to waive royalties, and their publishers agreed to pay the cost of producing the special editions for the event.
Volunteers around the country can apply to be book givers and are chosen based on their ability to reach light and non-readers effectively. It is an amazing opportunity for book enthusiasts to share their passion for reading with those who do not read or do not have proper access to books.
The entire book community comes together for one night each year to promote literacy. While book giver applications are closed for 2013, you can visit the World Book Night website to find out how to become a part of this inspiring movement in the future.