Shelton bookstore joins national effort to promote reading

On April 23, about 25,000 volunteers across the country will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across the country. Written Words Bookstore in Shelton is part of the effort.

World Book Night U.S. is a project to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or nonreaders across America on one day. The mission is to seek out those without the means or without access to printed books.

Volunteer book-lovers will help promote reading by going out into their communities and sharing free copies of books they love.

Role of the local bookstore

Local volunteers will pick up books to give away at Written Words Bookstore in Shelton and share them in locations as diverse as VA hospitals, roller skating rinks, mass transit systems, nursing homes, schools and food pantries.

This is the second year Written Words Bookstore has participated in World Book Night U.S.

Written Words is at 482 River Road (Route 110), having recently moved there from its previous location at the White Hills shopping center.

The bookstore will hold a reception for its volunteer givers on April 19, a few days before the national event.

Sign up to possibly become involved in 2014

Although it is too late to sign up to be a giver this year, those interested in participating in the future can go to to get on the World Book Night mailing list and receive updates on World Book Night 2014.

The 30 books chosen for 2013 World Book Night U.S. will be on display all spring at Written Words (free copies are not available at the bookstore).

Books chosen by a panel

The books for this year’s World Book Night U.S. were chosen by an independent panel of booksellers and librarians through several rounds of voting. The printing of the free books was possible due to generosity of the authors, publishers, and book manufacturing companies.

World Book Night U.S. is a nonprofit organization that is supported by publishers, Barnes & Noble, the American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Ingram Content Group, FedEx, printers, and paper companies.

Connecting people with books

Bestselling authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson are the event’s 2013 honorary chairmen.

"I'm very proud to be a part of World Book Night," Ann Patchett added. "As both a writer and a bookseller, I'm all in favor of getting books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have access to them."

James Patterson said, "In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night — it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing, enjoyable books. I'm honored to be a part of it.”

This year’s books

The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2013, in alphabetical order by author, are:

— “The Handmaid's Tale,” by Margaret Atwood (Anchor Books/Random House)

— “City of Thieves,” by David Benioff (Plume/Penguin Group (USA))

— “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury (Simon & Schuster Paperbacks)

— “My Antonia,” by Willa Cather (Dover)

— “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” by Tracy Chevalier (Plume/Penguin Group (USA))

— “The House on Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros (Vintage/Random House)

— “La casa en Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros; translated by Elena Poniatowska  (Vintage Español/Random House)

— “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho (HarperOne/HarperCollins)

— “El Alquimista,” by Paulo Coelho (Rayo/HarperCollins)

— “The Language of Flowers,” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Ballantine Books/Random House)

— “The Worst Hard Time,” by Timothy Egan (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

— “Bossypants,” by Tina Fey (Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books)

— “Good Omens,” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (William Morrow Paperbacks/HarperCollins)

— “Still Alice,” by Lisa Genova (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster)

— “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green (Speak/Penguin Group (USA))

— “Playing for Pizza,” by John Grisham (Bantam/Random House)

— “Mudbound,” by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin Books/Workman Publishing)

— “The Phantom Tollbooth,” by Norton Juster; illustrated by Jules Feiffer (Yearling/Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)

— “Moneyball,” by Michael Lewis (W. W. Norton)

— “The Tender Bar,” by J. R. Moehringer (Hyperion)

— “Devil in a Blue Dress,” by Walter Mosley (Simon & Schuster)

— “Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life,” by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

— “Population: 485,” by Michael Perry (HarperPerennial/HarperCollins)

— “The Lightning Thief,” by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)

— “Montana Sky,” by Nora Roberts (Berkley/Penguin Group (USA))

— “Look Again,” by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin's)

— “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” by David Sedaris (Back Bay Books/Little Brown)

— “The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency,” by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor Books/Random House)

— “Glaciers,” by Alexis M. Smith (Tin House Books)

— “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court,” by Mark Twain (Dover)

— “Salvage the Bones,” by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)

— “Favorite American Poem” (large print edition), by various authors (Dover)