Last year in the days after April 23rd, I started hearing about free copies of Kindred being passed from stranger to stranger. I was jealous at not having gotten one. Then, when driven by
bitterness curiosity as to why I hadn’t been included, I read about World Book Night and was jealous that I hadn’t been able to be a book giver. Certainly the trauma would forever scar me and come World Book Night 2013, I wouldn’t be left behind.
World Book Morning. Yawn. Coffee. Twitter.
I apprehensively found the 2013 book list. And there, judging me with a scornful look of disappointment, was Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time.
The single book I took on my first international trip.
The book that made me realize how much I love home, but why I have to travel.
Ironically, upon my return from Africa, it made me leave Wisconsin and move back to my hometown in Washington state. But while, I’ve read many people’s thoughts that Population could describe Anytown, USA, it didn’t describe that not-so-small-not-at-all-quaint town on the left coast, so I came back. Back to a very literal translation of New Auburn. A small Wisconsin town. A half block from the volunteer-manned fire station. Perry is my Kerouac.
I’d love to say that’s the first time this week I’ve failed Michael Perry.
And I saw none of it. Not that my Saturday wasn’t well spent and there is always that question on whether or not the old Subie would make a long haul like the Fox Cities, but damn it, it would have been nice to be there.
So, in a span of 5 days, I failed. Failed to take the opportunity to see a favorite writer, but more importantly, missed an opportunity to introduce him to neighbors.
Here’s the best part about me and grief. It makes me want to shop. So I bought one copy (I work in education, even that was a stretch for the budget) of Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time and am going to give it away.
Since this is my 2nd Annual Pity Party over forgetting World Book Night, I’d like to continue their mission in a small way.
Tell me to who you’d give the book. A light or non-reader you think would benefit the most from the gift.
I’ll take submissions in the comments until May 1st and then make a decision and notify the winner via e-mail by May 4.