Giving people books is a fraught issue among bibliophiles and bookworms. What if they don’t like the book? What if they hate a book you loved? What if someone gives you a book you hate? Many episodes of book podcasts I enjoy and blog posts by other readers I follow have been devoted to the ticklish diplomacy necessary for book giving. And yet…I love getting and giving books. So when I see posts like this on Tumblr, I immediately repost with a call to other readers to MAKE THIS HAPPEN:
Until our culture changes enough for casual book giving, we book folk have All Hallow’s Read. Neil Gaiman explains:
We used to have World Book Night, but the funding fell through for the American version. World Book Night was a non-profit organization that helped readers share their love of reading with strangers. You could sign up, receive books, and then distribute them anyway they liked. People would leave books on trains or on benches, or just stand on a corner handing them out.
Bookworms and bibliophiles, we need to get over our anxieties. We need to give more books. After all, if we give more books, we’ll start getting more books from people. (I’m pretty sure that’s in a Beatles’ song.) And that’s how we’ll make offering to buy a book instead of a drink a common practice and make All Hallow’s Read bigger and maybe resurrect World Book Night.