Tammy Enriquez of Adelante looks forward to reading Jeanette Walls' 'The Glass Castle' with, clockwise from her left, Amber Oberhaus, Miya Townsend, Michael Spencer, and intern Natalie Guzman.
Lisa Hite loves books and wants to share her love of reading with her daughter's Girl Scout troop.
Tammy Enriquez has never been a big reader but wants to inspire her students to pick up a good book.
Dawn Hubbell-Staeble teaches writing to college students and knows good readers make for better writers.
All three women are among 25,000 people across the United States who began handing out free bestselling novels Monday to people who might not otherwise read them. The give-away was part of World Book Night, an event that started in Ireland and the United Kingdom last year to spread a love of reading and books.
"I got involved because I thought it was a brilliant idea," said Ms. Hubbell-Staeble, a lecturer for general studies writing at Bowling Green State University. "I teach writing, and one of my complaints is that it's hard to teach writing to nonreaders."
She took 30 copies of H.G. Bissinger's Friday Night Lights to the study tables where BGSU football players come to her for help with writing assignments Monday night. She planned to hand out any leftover books to Fricker's, a local sports bar.
"I thought this would be a great way to reach out to people who tend not to be readers," she said.
That is, of course, the whole point behind World Book Day.
Miya Townsend, 13, left, follows along in 'The Glass Castle' as Julissa Ornelas, 13, reads the bestselling novel aloud at Adelante Inc.
Carl Lennertz, director of World Book Day in the United States, said some 25,000 volunteers in 5,800 towns and cities signed up to distribute nearly 500,000 books. The books -- 30 different popular titles -- were shipped to the volunteers at no cost via public libraries, independent book sellers, and Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.
"They've chosen some really great titles to really encourage people to start reading more. I think it's great," said Stephanie Hinamon, community relations manager for Barnes & Noble, 4940 Monroe St.
Ms. Hinamon said 20 or so people picked up their books at the store. Another 30 people got their shipments at Barnes & Noble's Fallen Timbers store. The books were special paperback editions of best-sellers like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Stand by Stephen King, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Participants got 30 copies of one of their top three selections.
Mrs. Hite, academic supervisor for Four County Career Center near Archbold, saw a posting about World Book Day on Facebook, decided she wanted to take part, and encouraged two English teachers at her school to do the same.
"I chose The Glass Castle, which I think is just a phenomenal memoir for kids not born into the right situation to show that you can still be successful," she said.
Written by Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle recounts the author's unconventional childhood as the daughter of dysfunctional and ultimately homeless parents.
Mrs. Hite planned to share the book with her daughter's seventh-grade Girl Scout troop and the mothers who help out with the troop.
"I've always loved books. Books were my trophies growing up. I wasn't into sports, but I had a huge collection of books and that was my accomplishment," she said. "I just want to share that joy of reading, and that book touched me in so many ways, I can't wait to share it with other girls."
Ms. Enriquez, a youth specialist with the community resource center Adelante, Inc., said she was just the opposite -- not a reader but willing to give a good book a chance.
She also received a shipment of The Glass Castle, a book she hasn't read yet but plans to dive into along with the middle and high school students she works with in an after-school tutoring program. She hopes her students see that they too can overcome difficult childhoods.
"They can relate," Ms. Enriquez said. "Whether we like it or not, they deal with stuff like this. It happens. We want to let them know this is another's person's story. We're excited."
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: email@example.com or 419-724-6129.