All of us at Square Books have the good fortune of being surrounded by books everyday, but World Book Night gave us the opportunity to give books to those who have limited access, exposure or interest in literature. On Monday, over 15 local volunteers went out into the community to share the experience of reading with others by giving away approximately 500 books. Some of the recipients were the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oxford and Batesville, More Than a Meal, the Pontotoc Library, Holly Springs High School students, the Oxford High School football team, children at Le Bonheur Hospital in Memphis, residents of Hermitage and Azalea Gardens, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s literacy program with the Oxford jail.
It was really great meeting the volunteer givers at Off Square Books on Friday night and hearing their stories about the books they chose and why they chose to give them to their respective recipients. One of the givers chose Friday Night Lights to give to the Oxford High School football team, hoping to peak their interest in literature by giving them a book they could truly relate to - and it so happens that the giver used to play football for the Odessa, TX team at the center of the book. Their enthusiasm was inspiring! A big thank you to all the volunteers and to all the authors who waived royalties and the many companies who paid for printing costs to make the first US World Book Night a success. We look forward to an even bigger WBN next year! AL