How I Managed to Fail in 5 Days (Sorry, Michael Perry)

The book that made me a Wisconsinite.

The book that made me a Wisconsinite. I’ll be giving away one copy – check the end of the post for details!

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.

On Saturday, day four of the Fox Cities Book Festival, Perry and the Long Beds performed a benefit concert. There was a little of this. And, undoubtedly, a lot of this.

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.


9 thoughts on “How I Managed to Fail in 5 Days (Sorry, Michael Perry)

  1. Pingback: The Best of World Book Night 2013 | bird on a wire

  2. I know the perfect recipient: someone who doesn’t get to read nearly as often as she would like and she is perpetually haunted by all things Wisconsin despite living thousands of miles away.

    • If you feel haunted by Wisconsin, Population may only make it worse! Although, I couldn’t think of a better book to indulge with. It sounds like this person could use some indulgence. Thanks for participating in my own little World Book Night!

  3. Having spent a lifetime analyzing details, it was impossible to miss how important Population is to the blogger.
    “The single book I took on my first international trip.”
    “The book that made me realize how much I love home.”
    To not want to read Population would be an opportunity missed to know this person better. If I am awarded this literary work, in the spirit of World Book Night, I will share it with others.

    • Thanks for noting the impact and importance this book has in my life. I would love to give you the opportunity to share it and learn. Thanks for commenting and helping me share World Book Night with others!

  4. Trish Cobbin Macdonald I’m from a small town, live in a small town, am a voracious reader, and when I’m done with it will pass it along to someone who I know will read and enjoy it and who will also pass it along. Heck, I might even buy myself a copy to keep if I like it enough. Fun fact: I learned about World Book Night in the hot tub at the swimming pool, and was instrumental in books being given to our Care Center for its book club. AND– I’m coming to visit in two weeks and can pick the book up personally.

    • Thanks for posting this here. I thought it was a great comment that everyone needed to see. With a small, but admittedly limited, experience with your small town, I think it’s a good book to pass around there. Thanks for your personal involvement in your World Book Night. I’ve now signed up to receive newsletters and e-mails in the hopes that I don’t miss out next year. Your copy will be waiting when you get here!

  5. Pingback: And We Have a Winner…s! | bird on a wire

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