NEW YORK, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- From San Diego to St. Paul, Hilo to Homestead, in 7,000 towns and cities across America, more than 29,000 World Book Night volunteers will hand out 580,000 free books to new or light readers on one day – April 23, 2014 – Shakespeare's birthday. Amy Poehler is the 2014 WBN honorary chairperson.
The number of volunteer givers and special World Book Night paperback editions printed are up 16% from last year; the increase is due to outreach into underfunded public schools.
For the first time, thousands of free copies of Shakespeare's Sonnets will be distributed at school- and library-based events featuring local Shakespeare theater companies and at four major Broadway plays in Manhattan.
World Book Night is an ambitious literacy campaign in which volunteer givers help promote reading by each distributing 20 specially printed copies of a book they love in places with people in need such as hospitals, food pantries, nursing homes, schools, shelters, to Wounded Warriors, and more. The givers are also going to subways, ferries, firehouses, and diners; even a pilot is giving books on a plane.
Giving plans run from a couple handing out books to sailors at Naval Base Point Loma to a Nebraska mother and daughter giving books at a teen reading night, from books given to immigrants learning English to a ranch where abused and neglected kids can heal. GED classes, VA hospitals, and Little League baseball games are also included among a very wide range of giving locations this year.
World Book Night U.S. Director Carl Lennertz said: "Our volunteers are caring people who want to extend the simple gift of a book to those who perhaps have never owned one. It is an act of kindness, and it can be life-changing, for the recipient and giver alike."
Lastly, the campaign's focus on printed books will be supplemented by a free e-book for those with reading devices who don't use it for books. It will be available to givers to pass along on April 23 and features ten pieces by past givers. www.eworldbooknight.org.
World Book Night U.S -- Spreading the Love of Reading. Person to Person. -- is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported by UPS, authors, publishers, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram. www.us.worldbooknight.org
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SOURCE World Book Night U.S.