Spread literacy with Malcolm Gladwell, Amy Poehler and others at World Book Night

The celebration, which takes place on Shakespeare’s birthday this year, invites book lovers to pass along their passion

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell Photograph: Bill Wadman

Wednesday, April 23 marks the third annual iteration of World Book Night, an evening in which volunteers around the world give away favorite titles to those who may not have ready access to literature. (Publishers print special editions of 30-plus titles, and the books' authors waive their royalties for the occasion.) The local lit community has once again embraced the event, programming all sorts of supporting events in the week leading up to the main attraction; for instance, those giving away books have been treated to kickoff parties at WORD, Greenlight Bookstore and others.

The biggest event of the lot, though, happens tonight. In one of the NYPL's opulent rooms, witty sociologist Malcolm Gladwell, folksy radio host Garrison Keillor, memoirist Tobias Wolff, chronicler of cross-cultural life Esmeralda Santiago, prolific YA writer Walter Dean Myers, and Zora and Me authors T.R. Simon and Victoria Bond will talk about what books and libraries mean to them. With so many interesting characters, and such a broad topic, it should be an enthused, engaging discussion. Amy Poehler is this year's honorary chairperson so, who knows, if she's in town, maybe she'll show?

The free event takes place at the main branch of the New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street at 6:30pm. For more information about becoming a World Book Night "giver," and to find out about the other WBN events happening around the country, go to us.worldbooknight.org.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)


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