World Book Night is back, offering the chance for adults to fall in love with reading.
Heartland Workforce Solutions in Omaha is one of thousands of spots across the globe that signed up to be a giving site for this annual event, so they received boxes of some of today's most popular books.
It started as a small book giveaway in Europe. This is just the third year World Book Night has been held in the U.S. Dozens of books are selected each year, authors waive royalties and publishers pay to print these special editions. It's their attempt to fight apathetic literacy, choosing not to read despite the fact that we know how.
In the stack available this year you’ll find authors like Anthony Bourdain and Garrison Keillor, plus others you might want to get your hands on before the film version comes out like Wild, which will star Reese Witherspoon.
“I think everybody that says they read a book, it's always better than seeing the movie and stuff like that ‘cause you allow your brain to work and your imagination to go and just go and get involved in the story," says Goodwill's education specialist Brent Janzen.
At Goodwill's Career Center, team members say better literacy skills lead to better employment and a higher rate of success in things like their GED class. "A lot of my students, I'll see if they bring a book that they're just reading for pleasure, they seem to be a lot more successful when it comes to taking the tests and stuff like that so you can really tell that no matter what you're reading, reading is beneficial to you academically,” says Janzen.
The books selected to give away cover all kinds of interests, from cooking to baseball, poems to memoirs of self-discovery. The center on Ames Avenue will give a book to anyone who comes in starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, until all 400 books they received are gone.
That’s 400 out of the 550,000 paperbacks being given away free across the U.S. Wednesday. Countless more may be downloaded from the comfort of home because World Book Night is entering the digital world for the first time this year by creating a brand new eBook of original stories and essays, hoping casual or non-readers will turn to their computers or tablets to get back in touch with books.
"There are a lot of programs out there for children, not a lot focusing on older ages, which it's really important for everyone to read," says Goodwill education specialist Bobbi Jo Howard.
You can download at eworldbooknight.org. It's available for two more weeks.