Thousands of bookstores and libraries participated in World Book Night 2012 Monday, including Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach. The store's owners and a handful of volunteers spent Sunday handing out books on Skid Row as part of the celebration.
“We are very excited about the event,” said Linda McLoughlin Figel, co-owner of Pages: A Bookstore with Patty Gibson and Margot Farris. “An independent bookstore has the ability to touch people on a case-by-case basis.”
The bookstore handed out books to Homeboy Industries, Downtown Women's Center and LAMP, organizations dedicated to ending homelessness and helping people get back on their feet. All three are based in downtown Los Angeles.
McLoughlin Figel said supporting small bookstores is important because they are a reflection of the communities they serve.
An estimated 50,000 book givers in the United States alone are expected to hand out half a million books donated by publishers for needy groups and organizations. The event, which is also taking place in United Kingdom and Ireland, is meant is to spread the love of books and reading, according to the organizers' website.
McLoughlin Figel said she and some volunteers spent Sunday passing out books to people on Skid Row as a celebration of World Book Night 2012.
Each giver chose the book to give away from a list of 25, which includes titles such as Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.
Launched in the U.K. in 2011, this is the first time U.S. book lovers have participated in World Book Night. April 23 is also UNESCO’s World Book Day, chosen to coincide with the anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’ death, as well as William Shakespeare’s birth and death.