Steamboat Springs After Monday, there will be more than 400 fresh new paperback books in the hands of Yampa Valley residents.
And the main goal of World Book Night 2012, a nationwide book distribution event involving 5,000 communities, is that those hands belong to people who rarely pick up books.
Anna Roth, event coordinator for World Book Night in Steamboat Springs, said there are 21 volunteers in the Steamboat, Hayden and Craig areas that will help saturate the community with hundreds of new books Monday.
“I thought the event was a wonderful idea; the whole thing is free,” Roth said. “I think there’s a pretty heavy inclination toward making sure everyone else reads.”
Volunteers signed up on the World Book Night website and had the chance to choose one title out of 30 books ranging in subject matter and target age.
Volunteers were sent 20 new copies of his or her chosen book this week. It’s up to volunteers where to distribute the books Monday, but they had to sign a pledge that the books would end up in the hands of people who wouldn’t otherwise read them.
Roth is a bookseller at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, which is the pickup point locally for this year’s World Book Night books. Five of the bookstore’s employees also are volunteers for the event, which aims to promote literacy in underserved populations.
“Today, there’s such an emphasis on being plugged in and sound bites,” she said. “It’s important to show people that a lot of important and interesting things can be said in the size of a book, instead of a sentence.”
She said the bookstore plans to give some of the books to the Routt County Jail and to assisted living homes for seniors.
Some givers, she said, plan to give out their copies at bars or at the skate park.
Sue Leonard, the founder of local writing group SHe Writes Steamboat, received 20 copies of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian,” which she and her group will be giving away at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Craig and Steamboat Springs.
It’s a book targeted for youths, and Leonard thinks that’s an important age at which to develop a relationship with books.
“The whole mission is to try to tap into and get nonreaders and light readers interested in reading,” she said. “Once they reach (middle school) age, their reading really drops off, and I’m delighted to have a book that will encourage the middle school readers.”
She said that for light readers, one good book could be the impetus for a lifelong relationship with reading.
“It’s a starting point,” Leonard said. “My hope is if they really find one they really like, they might think, ‘There must be others out there I’d enjoy, with all the books in the world.’”
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com