A Recap: World Book Night

So. Let's talk about World Book Night. I made sure to join in on the festivities, the entire day, by keeping up with other givers on Twitter. I was bombarded with news that people were giving their books away in 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 10 minutes - tops. My excitement could barely be contained. And then, there I was, books in hand, approaching people who thought I was asking for money. They rushed past, heads down, acting as if I were, both, visible and invisible. Odd (chin scratching).

I was unable to participate until after work and found that the streets were completely deserted in the place I had originally planned to occupy. The weather was on the chilly side and the wind was hell bent on ruining the party. Optimism. slowly. deflating...

For the most part, I had a nice laugh about it. I couldn't give FREE books away, wondering what other givers had done to get their copies out so fast.

Maybe it was just me? Maybe I looked like a prowler, a person that was going to mug someone as soon as they came close enough for me to hand them a book? Doubtful. My imagination was starting to run away with itself.

Look at this face. Does it look mean? Scary? Cold? OVERJOYED at the thought of giving away books?

Sadly, J only managed to snap this photo before we assumed our position. That's the little sign tied to my tote. Oh, and I took this one of the books.

So, I took several copies down to a lady friend's coffee shop where a community shelf is maintained on an honor system. I left a copy there and had a chat with the co-owner and barista. They expressed feeling that they needed to read more, so I handed out a couple more.

J, noticing my fading enthusiasm, suggested we grab a bite to eat. I had a little chat with the guy taking my order and handed off another copy. I was feeling good.  When we left, it was approaching night and the wind had picked up considerably. East Atlanta was deserted.

I decided to give others out on Tuesday, during the day, when the sun was out and people were grabbing lunch. I work near the CNN center, so we get an enormous amount of traffic, so I'm almost wondering why I didn't think of Centennial Park all along. I managed to give away a few to coworkers that thought the concept was really cool and admitted to not reading much at all. In the end, it was perfect! I even found myself comfortably gushing about the details of the book.

I'm so glad I was able to participate, despite the fact that I didn't hand out all 20 in one night. I'm looking forward to joining in again next year and confident I can be even more successful with the insight I have now. I'll know to choose another time, and invest a little more time into coming up with something that really stands out, to draw a crowd (I saw one woman who decorated a little wagon that she pulled along). I'll admit that looking over while dining and seeing the cashier flipping through, settling on the counter to crack it open was worth it. Getting the books out, settling into good homes is really what it's all about, no matter what day they're given away.

Did you participate in World Book Night? If so, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. You'd think it wouldn't be so hard to give out free books. I mean it's books! and free! Those are 2 of the best things.

    1. Alley,
      You would think so. I mean I would gladly take a copy. Sadly, it was not as easy. Some people, though, had them snatched immediately. I'm blaming it on Atlanta. Ha!

  2. This is sad - there are so many non-readers out there! Sounds like the ones you gave out will go to good homes and to people who want to read them, which is better than giving them all out super quick but then they end up stuck on someone's shelf for years.

    1. Sam,
      I don't know if it was that people weren't interested as much as it was people didn't trust someone just giving something away. However, it may be a completely different story after the event is more well known here in the States. I definitely agree that waiting ended up working best.

  3. Thanks for sharing how the event was! I ended up not applying because I couldn't think of where to give them out and worried how people would react. Weird, right? But seriously, I'm proud of all who did hand out books, and you were braver than I was!

    1. Carrie,
      I really do think it's such a challenge to approach people. I always think I'm quite social until I'm in that position! I will definitely put a lot more thought into where I hand them out next year. The last day (I spread it out over a few) was really so much fun. I met a group of ladies that really loved that I was doing it and made my day!

  4. After hearing about all your experiences, I wish I would have applied to be a donor. Even though it didn't go seamlessly for you, it still sounds like fun. There were a few other donors I read about who had similar experiences to yours. It sounds like a learn as you go kind of thing.

    Next year I hope to participate! Thanks for sharing your experiences, and cute tote!

  5. I didn't participate this year, but I'm all in next year!


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