The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 22, 2014

Bard’s birthday

Celebrate Shakespeare’s birth with World Book Night 2014

ENID, Okla. — As good luck would have it, today is a special day. It’s the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birthday (although CNN reports certain Bard-o-philes argue it’s April 26, the date of his baptism).

Going full circle, we’re glad the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County, 120 W. Maine, is joining the 2,300 bookstores and libraries across the country in supporting World Book Night 2014. The Bard would be proud.

The ambitious campaign gives thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or non-readers.

An independent panel selects the books from the classics to the contemporary based on accessibility and availability, balancing gender, ethnicity and geography. For more information, visit www.us.worldbooknight.org.

The aim of the annual celebration is to spread the love of reading among disengaged teens and adults. Half a million free World Book Night paperbacks are given away.

However, organizers insist this is not a random giveaway, but more a person-to-person, carefully planned outreach.

The nonprofit organization relies on donors, librarians and booksellers to share the tomes in safe, well-populated public areas such as nursing homes, food pantries or underfunded schools.

The Enid library gladly serves as a community base for local givers, receiving books to be given out and providing useful resources. The book givers come from various walks of life (applications are now closed to volunteer).

We hope this year’s World Book Night is a smashing success. To quote Shakespeare: “All’s well that ends well.”

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