Parties to Put World Book Night Givers in the Spirit

Indie booksellers are gearing up for the April 23rd celebration of World Book Night with parties and book pickup events planned at hundreds of locations across the country. In addition, 28 official kickoff and day-of events are scheduled, and several independent stores are joining in the fun to ramp up community excitement and media attention for World Book Night.

The Twig Book Shop in San Antonio, Texas, might be in the process of moving storefronts, but that’s not deterring manager Claudia Maceo from throwing a great bash for both givers and the community at large. “The event is going to be so much fun,” Maceo said, adding that plans for readings, music, and entertainment are in their final stages. The celebration will be held at Twig’s new storefront at the former Pearl Brewery, now a mixed-used space housing locally owned retail shops and restaurants.

Maceo scheduled the event for Sunday, April 21, with the special intention of getting press coverage and media attention for the big event on Tuesday. Givers will be able to pick up their boxes of books and meet fellow givers and special guests throughout the event. Authors Rick Riordan and Sandra Cisneros will be there to help raise awareness for WBN, along with musician Rudi Harst, reporter and TV personality Rick Casey, and Cary Clack, a writer and avid reading proponent and district director for Texas congressman Joaquin Castro. World Book Night comes on the tail of San Antonio’s edition of the Texas Book Festival, and Maceo hopes to draw some of those book-lovers to the store on Sunday.

Celebrating poetry month in conjunction with World Book Night, WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, has joined with Poets & Writers to host an evening of readings on April 22 from the WBN pick Favorite American Poems (Dover Publications). Poets Alana Bell, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, and Lauren Wallach will perform readings and talk about the importance of books in their lives. Givers will have the opportunity to meet fellow givers, discuss their giveaway spots, and indulge in snacks and conversation.

It’s a big difference from the event that WORD held last year at a local bar, and events director Jenn Northington is excited about this year’s plans and the years ahead. “Who knows what we’ll do next year,” she said. “It’s a big open field—you can do whatever you want that makes you excited about books.”

World Book Night display at Tattered CoverA performance by McAvoy Layne as the ghost of Mark Twain will entertain guests at The Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, on April 22. McAvoy, who dons a cream suit and a bushy moustache to present Twain in character, will be giving a talk based on WBN pick A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Dover Publications). Givers from last year have been invited to join the festivities alongside first-timers. “We want to get them up to share their stories from last year,” Heather Duncan, the store’s director of marketing, said of the seasoned givers.

Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California, is one of 12 stores selected to participate in Book & Rose Night. A tribute to the history of World Book Night, Book & Rose Night draws from the Catalan tradition of presenting a book and a rose to a loved one every April 23, in honor of the anniversary of Cervantes’ death. Booksellers at Vroman’s will be giving a rose away to every customer who purchases a regular edition World Book Night title from the store.

Michael Lewis, author of the WBN pick Moneyball (W.W. Norton), will be stopping by Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore and Literary & Garden Arts in Berkeley, California, on April 22 to get attendees jazzed up to hand out books on Tuesday. Registered givers, who will be picking up their boxes and meeting other givers, will have a chance to meet the author.

Stores are encouraged to put regular edition World Book Night titles on display in stores, both to promote the event and as a thank you to the authors who are foregoing royalties on the special book editions. Booksellers can also find WBN promotional materials through the Bookseller and Library sections under WBN Resources, including customizable thank you certificates for book givers, bookmarks, flyers, posters, and stickers.

For more details about kickoff plans, visit the WBN blog, check for updates on Facebook, and follow WBN on Twitter

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