I smile. "Yes, its free. It's to celebrate World Book Night. Enjoy!" The man takes the book and thumbs through it. He looks back at me. No donation can? No ulterior motive? I'm just sitting in front of a coffee shop passing out brand new free books? What's the catch?
No catch. Just a free book to celebrate a love of reading. "Wow, thanks a lot." he finally concedes.
World Book Night 2013 was lots of fun. I loved giving away my 20 copies of a brand new book to total strangers. I loved the surprised, then pleased look on people's faces when they received an unexpected, free gift. Something for nothing. Wow.
It took a while--I think many people hurrying by mumbling "No thanks" didn't believe it was free. 'Cause how often do we really get gifts for free? Just yesterday I got a postcard in the mail saying I won 2 free airline tickets to anywhere in the US! Did I start planning my next adventure? No, I threw that card right in the recycle bucket. I'm too skeptical. There must have been a catch.
Skeptics aside, I was able to convince 20 people that I just wanted to give them a free book. They stopped to chat. Wanted to know more about World Book Night. Reminisced about favorite books they had read. Told me their own stories about sharing a love of reading.
"Do you get paid for this?" one person asked me. Nope. That's OK. I'm getting something for nothing too.
For more info, here's a link to the website: