Monday, April 22, 2013

World Book Night Give Away: A Handmaid's Tale

April 23rd is WORLD BOOK NIGHT.  This is my second year as a Book Giver, and I am getting excited about the idea of handing over free books, with no strings attached, to unsuspecting people.  As its website explains, "World Book Night U.S. is a celebration of books and reading held on April 23, when 25,000 passionate volunteers across America give a total of half a million books within their communities to those who don’t regularly read. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany and saw over 80,000 people gift more than 2.5 million books."

I am proud to be a World Book Night giver again this year, and I will be giving away "The Handmaid's Tale," by Margaret Atwood.  To celebrate, I will be giving away three (3) copies of the book here on my blog.  If you are interested in winning one of the copies, all you need to do to enter is to share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr and then let me know in the comments below.  Three winners will be chosen at random, and I will announce the winners on April 24th and you will have one week to email me your address for mailing.  Any unclaimed books will be donated to the local shelter.
If you haven't already read the book, here is the teaser from the World Book Night page:

 In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force for the mature and adventurous reader.
I gave away several books on my blog last year, and I also handed out free copies on my lunch hour to strangers walking around downtown.  It is amazing the suspicion that free things evoke in people.  So many seemed scared to accept a free gift.  Some refused it.  Others, however, lit up when I approached them.  Maybe I was the first person to acknowledge them, to actually see them in a long while. 

So many people seemed to walk with their heads down, reluctant to make eye contact, their hands preoccupied with electronic devices or stuffed defensively in their pockets.  Just getting them to look up took and engage took a herculean effort.  But when they finally did slow down and look up, they seemed eager to talk, to receive my gift and to give back with their time, their own stories, a few even gave hugs--so desperate for human contact. 

See, it isn't so hard, this give and take.  We just forgot how.  We have to relearn--to start somewhere. 

This is my somewhere. 

So take a minute to enter, chose a book to curl up with tomorrow to celebrate World Book Night, and add a comment to share how you plan to celebrate World Book Night and the gift of reading!