I fell in love with the idea the moment I heard about it. Volunteers were needed to distribute free books in the hope of transforming reluctant or non-readers into book-loving fools. That’s the stuff that makes a word nerd’s heart go all fluttery. I signed right up.
On the appointed day, I went to the library to pick up my box of books. Twenty fresh copies of The Lovely Bones were mine to hand out. Excited, I could hardly wait until April 23rd, the official distribution day.
In retrospect, I’m not sure what I expected. I suppose I thought I’d encounter a gaggle of people who’d be delighted to get a free book. I guess I assumed (uh-oh) that with a smile, a personal endorsement of the book in hand, and a sprinkling of magic pixie dust, I’d send twenty lucky people skipping down the road to Readerville.
Almost no one wanted to go to Readerville. Not even with a free ticket. No way, no how.
Deflated and back home with more than half of my books, I sat and looked at my husband. He’s not one to read for fun, so I offered him a book. “I’ll take it if it makes you feel better,” he said, “but I’ll probably never read it.”
I put it back in the box.
I’ve tried several locations on a few different nights, and I still have books. Crisp, beautiful books, just waiting for eager eyes. Last night, the hubs suggested I stand outside the library and offer them to patrons. “At least they’d get read,” he said.
I’m nowhere near that desperate. Yet.
There must be readers out there who simply don’t yet identify themselves that way. Folks who, despite their reservations, will be transported, charmed, breathless, brought to tears—both happy and sorrowful—and hungry for more once they’ve nestled into a comfortable chair with a book. The hard part is convincing them to give it a shot.
“The last time I read a book was when I had to in order to pass a class in high school,” one woman told me. Her friend nodded.
“This is a pretty good one,” I countered. Then in a weak voice, I added, “They made a movie out of it.”
Still, no sale.
I’m not ready to give up. Maybe when I head out again, I’ll stop to buy a handful of candy bars and then attach one to each remaining book. It’ll probably be easy to give away free candy, even if there’s a book taped to the bottom of it.
I’m blogging my way from A-Z. Please check out some of the other A-Z’ers.
One blog every day, that’s all you have to do: NaBloPoMo
One more thing: You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.