World Book Night Volunteers to Give 500,000 Books Across U.S. April 23

St. Cloud, MN – April 2013: 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 country.

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 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 & 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.