April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, chosen because it's the day that both Shakespeare and Cervantes died in 1616. In certain parts of Spain, April 23 was a day to remember Cervantes by giving a book and a flower to someone you love.World Book Night is part of the celebration, with people in the U.K. giving away millions of free books in hospitals, prisons, on street corners, and on university campuses. For the first time, the U.S. is participating this year in the global giveaway.
To learn more, and to see the list of the 30 books that will be distributed that night, click here. You can follow all the action on World Book Night on Twitter with the hashtag #wbnamerica.
I wanted to participate this year by signing up as a volunteer to distribute books, but the date happens to fall during the furniture market, another international event that requires my attention for about 16 hours that day.
However, I've decided that I'll participate in my own way, by giving away copies of three of my favorites on the World Book list. If you see me that day, ask me for a book.
Here are the three that I've chosen: