What's World Book Night? Just about the coolest thing to hit books since Gutenberg.
Conventional wisdom says, Books are Dead. Of course, CW also once said that Zeppelins were the wave of the future. Go figure.
But the Book isn't all dead. Could it use some love? Sure - couldn't we all? So last year, some smartsters across the pond came up with WBN. It was a way to take the love of books that so many have and share that conviction with those who might not be as enamored with the word-made-paper as they could be.
What was their plan? They picked a night - April 23rd - to go out and spread the word. Why April 23rd? Not because it's the birthday of Lee Majors. Because both Cervantes and Shakespeare shuffled off this mortal coil on that day - also because it just so happens to be that great William's birthday, too.
So April 23rd. On that night, in 2011, book lovers fanned out across England and Ireland and gave away a million books. Just gave them away. Why would the book industry be interested in giving away their product? First, because it's fun. Second, because there are those among us who might not be able to splurge on a book. Third, because it's fun.
Word spread, and we decided over here not to let those over there corner the good times. So welcome to World Book Night, American style.
What can you do? Well, here's the deal - the organizers are looking for Book-Givers. Could you give away 20 free books in one night? If you think so, and you're available on April 23rd, then go here to sign up. DEADLINE IS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH. Here's the list of 30 books that Carl Lennertz and crew picked out. It's broad and amazing.
They'll ask you some questions. Don't do what I did. Don't try and be funny. See, they want to know how you plan to give away your books. I got to thinking and decided it'd be a blast to do a bar-crawl. We got us some pretty fine bars here on the island - lots and lots of them - and I thought it'd be a hoot to go drinking, carrying my bag of books, and start conversations. Start talking to people and then present those unsuspecting imbibers with a gift.
Instead of saying that, I responded to the official World-Book-Night query To whom do you intend to give your books? with the reply, Drunk hot chicks!
That was a joke, but we book people have notoriously poor senses of humor - witness the joke itself - and now I fear I may have made a mistake. So don't do that.
But - please! - if you think this sounds like the great idea I think it sounds like, join me. Join me and turn someone onto a book that they wouldn't have read otherwise - and have fun doing it.
April 23rd, friends, April 23rd.
75th Anniversary Edition of Mr. Boston. Page 206. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce the
2 OZ. BOURBON WHISKEY
1/2 OZ. MARASCHINO LIQUEUR
1 DASH ANGOSTURA BITTERS
1 DASH ORANGE BITTERS
STIR WITH ICE AND STRAIN INTO CHILLED COCKTAIL GLASS.