Steal These Books!

Today, for World Book Day (well, World Book Night, technically, but we’re dragging it out), about half a million books (bestsellers, mostly) will be handed out for free.


You might think, as a bookseller, I wouldn’t be wild about the idea of giving books away. On the contrary, I love it. I happen to know that reading a great book (not something boring, and not something you’re forced to read, but something actually good) is addictive enough that free books get me more customers, not less. And, in a business that’s becoming all about discounts, celebrity “authors” and ereader battles, it’s nice to see people getting excited about books again.



I’m also loving the creativity World Book Night is bringing out in my staff and customers. We had a great time at our launch party making posters (and debating the merits of cartoon squirrels versus abstract art … don’t ask) — such a great time that customers who weren’t even part of the event came over to draw their own. And I’m loving the homemade, punk-rock-inspired “books” shirt that Jim (photo above) created (he’s giving away copies of Patti Smith’s Just Kids, so it’s appropriate attire on several levels).


I wanted to be a bookseller because I believe participating in the arts — whether it’s through books, music, film or another medium — inspires us to be more creative, more involved in our communities, and even more happy and content in our lives. I think books are important, and I love when people share them with each other, both on World Book Night, and all year long.


Find me tonight with Sri and some of our other booksellers and friends at Taco Mama around 6 to pick up your free book (we’ll be giving out Hunger Games, among other titles). Warning: You just might get addicted.


Carrie Rollwagen is co-owner and book buyer at Church Street Coffee & Books.

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