Have you ever anticipated something for a really long time and then when the thing that you anticipated for so long finally arrives it is a bit of a let down emotionally? I think I am suffering Post World Book Night Syndrome.
The day has come and gone and I am left…….a bit sad. There, I said it. My experience was just that—a bit sad. But a learning experience.
I thought that my first foray into the World Book Night adventure would be best suited if I could get someplace who would “promote” and help me reach the masses so I chose the local library. I know a lot of readers go there but also it is a sort of “gathering place” for folks. But alas, it was not to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I had fun. I had some fabulous local friends who came to support me and showed up for me. That meant a lot. What I did not have were the target light to non readers. I had counted on those folks who just come to the library to use the computers and borrow videos to be there. They weren’t. In fact, hardly anyone was there for the hour and half that I was set up.
Oh and did I mention that I had an awesome display? Complete with bookmarks, stickers, and cards with all of the info needed to join in next year to be a book giver??
I might have gone over the top a little bit. Yes, it was a bit of that junior high science fair project type mentality that kicked in. I wanted things to give away. I wanted a bright display with graphics that caught the eye. I wanted something interactive so I had a board where folks could write the name of their favorite book. I even had colorful fabric with letters on it (JoAnn’s did not have any book fabric) to put on the table. I might have overdone it.
My first give away was kind of an ambush but I was told it was a nice ambush so I guess that was a good thing. The other two at the library were a little less traumatic but I still did not feel that I was reaching who I was supposed to be reaching with the books. We chatted and several folks stopped by and wrote down their favorite books. One guy wrote down about 15 instead of 1. He definitely loved to read. Jeremy was happy to share his with me, too, as you can see below. His favorite book? “The Grapes of Wrath”.
So I was left after an hour and half with 17 books left to give away. The weather outside was pathetic, no one is out and I had to come up with a plan. Hospice was a great place to be able to leave some so the families there will get something special. All of the other places that I wanted to go were not open by the time I was finished at the library so my plan is to distribute the rest a day late and get them in the hands of some folks who really will love having them.
- Enthusiasm is a great thing and I still believe that World Book Night is an amazing thing.
- Next year I will choose a different location and start a little earlier in the day handing them out so that I can get the distribution completed before it gets dark.
- Handouts are great but not really needed—I could have eliminated some of my stress by not going over the top about having all those done.
- Bombard the local media outlets with information and then bombard them some more—then maybe some coverage will occur.
- I am obviously not connected with the people that would benefit from this program so my goal is to figure out how to change that.
- Bottom line —-location , location , location.
So there you have it. I am trying hard to not view this as a failure but doggone it—-it kind of felt that way for a little bit. I think I got myself too hyped up about it but then it is all about the love of reading and sharing it so that is what I will continue to do. Here’s to a great learning experience —you can’t grow if you don’t learn.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: It is now Thursday, April 24th and I no longer have any books! I decided to go right out in my own neighborhood and visit the Assisted Living facility that is out my front door—Homestead. What a fabulous experience. I gave the remaining books out to the residents, staff and even the Fed Ex guy who dropped off a package. I got smiles, hugs, hand kisses and lots of gratitude. While some of the folks who received the books were readers already I am confident that those books will be shared widely and the joy will continue to be spread. Lesson learned—don’t work so hard to make something happen. Keep it simple!!!