Tricounty News

Volunteers to give away 500,000 books April 23

On April 23, 2013, 25,000 volunteers will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across the 

The free book giveaway is part of World Book Night U.S. (WBN), an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or nonreaders across America on one day. Great River Regional Library (GRRL) has recruited more than 50 volunteers who will share books at different locations across Central Minnesota such as parks, coffee shops and fitness centers.

Each volunteer will receive 20 copies of one book to give away. The book will be selected from
30 titles provided by WBN to satisfy a variety of interests. It is hoped that when volunteers give the same book within a community, readers will share their reactions and become more involved in books and reading. Providing people with materials and services to support lifelong learning and personal enrichment is a goal within the library’s strategic plan.

WBN is also celebrated April 23 in Germany, the U.K. and Ireland. April 23 is the date of the UNESCO International Day of the Book, the birthday of William Shakespeare, and the date of death for both Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote,” considered to be the first modern European novel.

Bestselling authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson are honorary chair-people for WBN. Patterson said: “In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night — it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing, enjoyable books. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

The books were chosen by an independent panel of booksellers and librarians. The free WBN editions are not available elsewhere, but standard editions of the selected books are available through all GRRL locations.

The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2013, alphabetical by author, are:

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

City of Thieves, David Benioff

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

My Antonia, Willa Cather

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier

The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

La Casa en Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; translated by Elena Poniatowska

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

El Alquimista, Paulo Coelho

The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan

Bossypants, Tina Fey

Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Still Alice, Lisa Genova

Looking for Alaska, John Green

Playing for Pizza, John Grisham

Mudbound, Hillary Jordan

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster; illus. by Jules Feiffer

Moneyball, Michael Lewis

The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer

Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Population: 485, Michael Perry

The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan


Montana Sky, Nora Roberts

Look Again, Lisa Scottoline

Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith

Glaciers, Alexis M. Smith

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain

Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward

Favorite American Poems (Large Print edition) various authors

For more information about World Book Night, visit

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.