Across three countries, 100,000 free novels will be given away to encourage reading during World Book Night -- including local giveaways in Greene County.
The effort, organized in part through libraries such as Linton's, will encourage literature fans to take their love of reading to the streets and encourage others to read by giving them free books, courtesy of an array of publishers and authors.
"The goal of World Book Night is to seek out reluctant adult readers wherever they are, in towns and cities, in public settings or in places from nursing homes to food pantries, low income schools to mass transit," said Angie Stuckey, young adults librarian at the Linton Public Library.
What's expected to become an annual event will be held in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. While the effort debuted in 2011 in the UK, 2012 marks the first time the effort's been held in America.
"World Book Night will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks," Stuckey said.
"We want the book givers to go out anytime Monday, April 23 to a place of their choosing to give away their 20 copies."
The books are specially-produced, not-for-resale paperbacks.
To be a book giver, entrants had to apply online by Feb. 1, Stuckey said.
"From what I understand, if you filled out the application accurately no one was turned down," she said. "There were 50,000 spots to fill and anyone passionate about the cause was accepted."
However, those who missed the initial sign-up deadline, may still qualify, either by joining the waitlist or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"If you are a book lover and passionate about spreading the love of reading they may still have a spot for you," Stuckey said, adding a list of available titles and further details are on-line at www.us.worldbooknight.org.
Each of the 50,000 participants gets 20 copies of the same book, drawn from a list of 30 titles.
There's no charge for the supply of special, not-for-resale editions. However, those giving away the free books will be responsible for any costs incurred in picking up their carton of giveaways, intended to encourage reading.
"Authors are foregoing royalties to make this possible, and American book publishers, the American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble, the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, Ingram Book Company, UPS, and a dozen printers and binders have paid for the production and shipping," Stuckey explained.
"The books also cannot be resold in any way.
This is not so folks can give books to book groups, friends or family," Stuckey said.
"Givers should pick a safe, well-populated public area, or indoor setting, like a hospital or school. And all givers must be 16 years or older. (Anyone younger must be accompanied by an adult.)"
Linton's library plans to host a reception for participants the week of the giveaway, allowing them to pick up their books and discuss where they plan to distribute the free novels.
"We will notify them on the details of the reception," Stuckey said.