Bethany bookstore participating in Book Night

Bethany Beach Books is one of 2,300 bookstores and libraries across the country supporting World Book Night 2014. On April 23 — Shakespeare’s birthday — 25,000 volunteers from Kodiak to Key West will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across America.

Bethany Beach Books is serving as a community base for local givers, receiving the books that they will be giving out and providing resources. They will also be hosting a reception for local givers on Monday, April 21, 6 p.m. At that time, the givers get to meet with staff and each other, as well as local media.

Already, Bethany Beach Books has had 20 givers sign up and has even had some people contact them after sign-ups had closed and asked whether they could still participate. They were given five extra boxes of books, which allowed them to take on additional last-minute givers.

World Book Night U.S. is a campaign to give thousands of free, specially-printed paperbacks to light or non-readers. Volunteer book givers help promote reading by going into communities and handing out free copies to those without means or access to a printed book.

With the organizational support of local bookstores and libraries, they’ll be sharing them in locations such as hospitals, mass transit, nursing homes, food pantries, underfunded schools and more. It is not a random giveaway, but a person-to-person, carefully planned outreach.

The WBN picks are by a wide array of award-winning and bestselling adult and young-adult authors, as well as classics, books in Spanish and books in large print. The assortment of WBN titles is based on diversity in subject matter, age level, gender, ethnicity and geography. The books were chosen in a vote by librarians, booksellers and last year’s givers.

For more information on the event, contact Amanda Zirn at or (302) 539-2522.