Anna Quindlen, novelist and honorary chairwoman of World Book Night in the USA, says "It will be like Halloween on an intellectual level."
Volunteers choose one of 30 titles - mostly current novels and memoirs - to give out. The costs of the million paperback books have been underwritten by publishers, printers and paper companies. Authors have waived their royalties.
You make your application on the World Book Night website. If you're chosen to be one of the book givers, they'll let you know by the end of February.
I've signed up and am keeping my fingers crossed. If I am chosen, I'll be giving out books to residents of Oakridge Neighborhood, a community providing housing and services to low-income people in Des Moines.
My book choices include:
- Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,"
- Chris Cleave's "Little Bee," and
- Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."
If I'm not chosen, I may go buy the books and give them out at Oakridge anyway. I just think the whole deal is really cool.