Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 22, 2013

PROMOTING LITERACY

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — MEDINA — In the classic novel “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” Mark Twain wrote, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Indeed, libraries and book stores across the world subscribe to this axiom. In a variety of ways they advertise to the population that books open up entire worlds to them.

With that in mind, the first-ever World Book Night was held in March of 2011. It started in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of an award-winning publisher’s idea to encourage reading among adults. 

Last year the event moved to April 23, which is the International Day of the Book. (It is also Movie Theatre Day and Talk Like Shakespeare Day; movies use books as source material and students in classes around the world read the works of Shakespeare.)

Both Germany and the United States joined in on the World Book Night event last year. Locally, The Book Shoppe in Medina participated. Owner Sue Phillips handed out two boxes of “The Book Thief” to two people, who then distributed the Marcus Zusak novel.

Phillips said World Book Night is important because it “gets books out into the public so people have a good book to read.” 

Phillips was part of a group of almost 80,000 in the participating countries. That group gave out more than 2.5 million copies.

She said the books served as a way to promote literacy and to encourage more reading among less-active readers.

Joining Phillips this year in the event are Medina’s Lee-Whedon Memorial Library and Bindings Bookstore in Albion. The library and The Book Shoppe are handing out “Girl with a Pearl Earring” while Bindings Bookstore has a handful of distributors giving away “Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris, “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster, and “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. The store is also a participant, with copies of “Montana Sky” by Nora Roberts.

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