At World Book Night, D.C. literacy advocates greeted with delight and skepticism
By Lonnae O'Neal Parker and David Montgomery, Published: April 23. The Washington Post
The odds of being handed a free book out of the blue were much higher Monday night than any other night of the year, thanks to the legions of volunteers and booksellers celebrating World Book Night. The event, which began last year in England and added the United States and Ireland this year, aims to spread the love of books by giving away 500,000 free paperbacks to those who might not otherwise have access or resources, or to those who just look like they could use a good read.
Volunteers in the Washington area and across the country — some 25,000 in all — scattered about pressing one of 30 mostly contemporary titles into unsuspecting hands. Among the books being given away were “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” and rocker Patti Smith’s memoir, “Just Kids.”