Berkshire Athenaeum Takes Part in World Book Night

The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, will take part in World Book Night for the third time. World Book Night is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or non-readers. Volunteer Book Givers promote reading by going into their community and handing out free copies, talking about their book title and why they found it engaging. It is estimated that a half a million free books will be given out across America on April 23, 2014.

World Book Night is observed each year on April 23 – a date chosen because it’s Shakespeare’s birthday  as well as in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.

The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are hosting a reception at 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 17, to thank volunteer Book Givers who will come to the library to retrieve their box of books for giving away. The library’s WBN co-chair, Madeline Kelly, observes, “This is our third year as a World Book Night library. We anticipate shipment of 20 boxes of books that these volunteers will be taking into the community on April 23. I’m a three-time Book Giver myself; and it’s rewarding.”

Those interested in being 2015 Book Givers  are encouraged to visit World Book Night’s website at for further information.