As I lamented, for the second year in a row, I missed my opportunity to be a book giver during World Book Night. In each of these years, the book list has featured titles that I consider fundamental-to-life reads. In 2012, it was Octavia Butler’s Kindred and this year, Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry, a Wisconsin farm boy turned judicious small town scribe.
Though my inability to keep an accurate watch on such meaningful details ripped out the left corner of my soul, I wasn’t going to let opportunity run away with it. I purchased a copy of Population: 485, and encouraged readers to choose someone in their community who would benefit from a free book. Essentially it was World Book Night within World Book Night. Me giving a title to someone with the intent of in turn passing it along.
I received an underwhelming, in quantity only, three comments. Each had an individual, thoughtful reason for wanting to share the book (after first reading it, but who can blame them)? And it would be daft of me to fail to note that I actually personally know each of the people who commented.
So, I’ve decided to buy two more copies and give one to each.
I was immediately chided by my father for playing into our societies “everyone’s a winner!” habit, in which I slightly agree has created a generation of entitled’s who expect a ticker tape parade for the completion of every menial task. But I recognize that each of the recipients will benefit from the read in uniquely specific ways, plus the book givers get to give out 20 books, so it’s really not fair that I was only giving out one.
So congratulations, let your World Book Night duties commence. Read, dog ear, and then gracefully part with these, now, never-ending tales.