It's official, World Book Night is coming to the USA next year! The event will take place on April 23, which is widely recognized as the International Day of the Book.
The first ever World Book Night was held in the UK last year and was a great success. In the lead up to the event, members of the public were invited to request their favorite books from a selection of 25 titles. Those who requested successfully were sent a box of 48 specially printed copies of a single title to give away. On World Book Night, about 20,000 book lovers gave away 40,000 copies of 25 books for a total of one million copies!
I have no idea whether the USA's World Book Night will feature a million books to give away, or more, or maybe less - but as a reference point, the USA's population of about 300 million is five times that of the UK - so, who knows, maybe it will be more!
In fact, details of the USA event are still thin on the ground - about all we know at this point is that Carl Lennertz, former VP of retail marketing at HarperCollins, has been appointed CEO of the event, and that the American Booksellers Association will be a sponsor.
Readers in the UK have already been asked to nominate titles for 2012. Up until August 1 you can see the list of titles in order of popularity here. The front runners at the moment are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, The Book Thief, Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I find it interesting to see how relatively few people are influencing the decision on what books are likely to be offered - for example, We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver is currently the 25th most recommended title with just 102 votes! The final lineup of titles for the UK will be announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.
We don't know for sure that members of the public in the USA will be asked to nominate titles, but it's fairly safe to assume that they will - and as the nominations open I'll let you know. And, I'll definitely update you when the chosen titles are available to request!