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World Book Night USA
February 4, 2012 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night. [British edition previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus (39 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
They'll only send me twenty copies, but there are thirty books? This seems contrived to prevent me and nineteen of my closest friends from collecting the whole set.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:29 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not available in Canada? Pity.
posted by maudlin at 1:35 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Committed to giving your books away on World Book Night to non or light readers

Wait, I'm supposed to associate with non or light readers? Forget it.
posted by Zed at 1:47 PM on February 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ah man I was so about to find 20 people who wanted "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" because I've been dying to read that book, but then it said you ought to pass out copies to "light readers" and nobody I know is a "light reader." I passed the link onto a middle school teacher friend instead.
posted by lilac girl at 1:50 PM on February 4, 2012


Are you American?

Pthpppprpb!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2012


I've always wanted to get a whole shitpile of copies of Infinite Jest and leave them in hotels and such Gideon-style.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:04 PM on February 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


It's actually the U.K. and the U.S., Peter.

Not in Canada, though. Boo.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:05 PM on February 4, 2012


This is awesome. I've already replaced my copy of The Things They Carried at least three times; I'm sure I could find 20 more people who should read it.
posted by kyleg at 2:06 PM on February 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd sign up for this with the best of intentions, but knowing me, I'd get distracted from the project and end up with a box of 13 books I can't get rid of in my house.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:07 PM on February 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


What are your reading for?


posted by Rafaelloello at 2:10 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


One wonders how they came up with that list.
posted by kenko at 2:11 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now wouldn't it just fee right to had out 'The Book Thief' to random strangers?
posted by sammyo at 2:20 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


kenko: "One wonders how they came up with that list."

It's... certainly diverse.
posted by brundlefly at 2:34 PM on February 4, 2012


There where better books on that list than I expected. A few "oh god no" ones too, but that is to be expected I expect.
posted by edgeways at 2:35 PM on February 4, 2012


expect expected expect.... sheesh
posted by edgeways at 2:35 PM on February 4, 2012


PeterMcDermott: ““‘Are you American?’ Pthpppprpb!”

You might notice the little link at the top corner that says "Visit the WBN UK & Eire Website."
posted by koeselitz at 2:44 PM on February 4, 2012


There where better books on that list than I expected.

Seriously, so glad to see Jhumpa Lahiri show up there. Everyone should read her.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:46 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, I'm Canadian!

What a great idea. I could command 30 people giving out books at Yonge&Bloor....in a line towards a big book Cndn store, a block away. The one with "no plans to participate". Hah.
posted by alicesshoe at 2:51 PM on February 4, 2012


I may have to get a box of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and hand that out to everyone I see one day... that book was gorgeous, and heartbreaking, and totally underrated.
posted by palomar at 3:12 PM on February 4, 2012


I wanted to sign up to get a box of copies of Just Kids to hand out but then I realized that everyone I know who loves Patti Smith has already read it and everyone I know who doesn't know who Patti Smith is wouldn't be interested.

And then I realized that there are probably more people who don't know who Patti Smith is than who do and now I am sad.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:41 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I may have to get a box of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and hand that out to everyone I see one day... that book was gorgeous, and heartbreaking, and totally underrated.

that is my exact plan, and nearly word-for-word what i wrote in the 'why do you want to give this book out' box. are you secretly me?
posted by kerning at 4:03 PM on February 4, 2012


I picked Oscar Wao, The Things They Carried, and The Stand, though it hurt me to leave Just Kids out.
posted by JimBennett at 4:04 PM on February 4, 2012


Pound for pound Stephen King represents the best bang for your non-buck but you'd be stupid not to select The Things They Carried.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:13 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was really spectacular. I just don't see people live and in person anymore, which would probably ruin the whole plan. Give them away from my blog? Sure. But that kind of violates the spirit of the whole thing, doesn't it?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:57 PM on February 4, 2012


I picked The Poisonwood Bible, Just Kids, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I really, really hope I get it -- the way I read that book was from a loaned copy, and I've loaned my copy out to so many people. I'd love to just be able to give it away.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:27 PM on February 4, 2012


from the FAQs:

Q.Why April 23?

A. April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, chosen in honor of Shakespeare and Cervantes who both died on April 23 1616 (and it was also Shakespeare's birthday).


I knew 4/23 was the bard's birthday, but I never knew it was also the anniversary of his death.

And yes, an interesting list of books.
posted by emhutchinson at 5:58 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting fact: even though Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare both died on April 23, 1616, Cervantes actually died ten days earlier than Shakespeare. This is because England was then using the Julian calendar and Spain was using the Gregorian.
posted by koeselitz at 6:19 PM on February 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Kindred!!?!?!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian?!?
There are some great books on that list. (Why was I surprised by that?)

I signed up just so I can give books out to school kids in East Austin.
I wish they would give you a mixed bag because, as good as Kindred is, I can see some boys turning it down based on the female lead. Ain't gonna stop me from selling it hard (and by selling, I mean promoting).
posted by Seamus at 9:24 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Koeselitz, thanks for explaining that! I've heard this before many times, but the dates never matched and now I know why.
posted by falameufilho at 10:54 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once again, Australia gets screwed out of the fun things.
posted by cerulgalactus at 2:00 AM on February 5, 2012


It's actually the U.K. and the U.S., Peter.

"This is the application for the USA. Application for the UK and Ireland has now closed."

Hence my raspberry.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:08 AM on February 5, 2012


Once again, Australia gets screwed out of the fun things.

Goddamn it. I was going to get a box, write cryptic and whimsical messages in the covers, and strew them around town.

Can an American MeFite do this now, so I feel like I have injected some mystery into the world?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:14 AM on February 5, 2012


I love this, thank you, I'd missed it previously. I picked Poisonwood Bible, Bel Canto and Just Kids -- wonderful thank you gifts to all the women in various doctors' offices I frequented in 2011 for their unending normalcy and efficiency and wisdom and hand-holding during my most recent breast cancer bout.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:51 AM on February 5, 2012


One wonders how they came up with that list.

from the Executive Director's blog: How we are choosing the U.S. books...
posted by estlin at 9:40 AM on February 5, 2012


Once again, Australia gets screwed out of the fun things.

I can hook you up with 30 copies of Paul Reiser's Parenthood, easy.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:12 PM on February 5, 2012


I can hook you up with 30 copies of Paul Reiser's Parenthood, easy.

Lies! All those unsold copies were burned years ago.
posted by hippybear at 5:33 PM on February 5, 2012


Well, the sold copies must have all been purchased by the Salvation Army, because they ended up in their thrift stores.
posted by tumid dahlia at 7:05 PM on February 5, 2012


More like the sold copies were all bought by people who are most likely to donate things they don't want to the Salvation Army.
posted by hippybear at 7:12 PM on February 5, 2012


Which, given the object in question, isn't a surprise at all.
posted by hippybear at 7:13 PM on February 5, 2012


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