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Islanders hand out novels as par of World Book Night

May 16, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

World Book Day was celebrated on the island for the first time last month, which granted a few organizations and individuals books to enjoy.

April 23 marked the celebration, due to it being UNESCO International Day of the Book, which was chosen to honor Shakespeare and Cervantes. They both died on April 23, 1616.

Dolores Granito, treasurer of the Friends of the Library, said she heard about World Book Night while reading the back cover of the January "Book Page," which is a publication given out at the Pine Island Library that includes a selection guide for new books, tapes and other material.

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Vicki Morrison, president of Friends of the Library, gave Betsy Haesemeyer, the executive director of Beacon of H.O.P.E., the book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” and Dolores Granito, treasurer of the Friends of the Library, gave the “Kite Runner” to the organization as part of World Book Day April 23.

"The entire back cover read 'World Book Night' - a night of giving the joy of reading," she said. "World Book Night is a new event designed to share the joy of reading with as many new, under-served readers as possible. 50,000 volunteer book-givers will be chosen to go into communities and give free books to those who may not have access to books or are infrequent readers. Sign up today. So I entered online."

Granito said it sounded like a good idea, it was free and she already had an idea of who would receive the books.

Vicki Morrison, president of Friends of the Library, said this is the first year the World Book Night has been held in the United States.

"It was very rewarding to be able to give a favorite book of mine to fellow islanders," she said.

Morrison and Granito delivered books to the Pine Island Food Pantry, the Beacon of H.O.P.E. Education Program and Pine Island Community Church's Outreach Program, along with individual names obtained from the churches.

They had the opportunity to choose from a listing of 30 books, which included such titles as "The Hunger Games," "Q is for Quarry," "The Namesake," "My Sister's Keeper," "Lovely Bones" and "The Glass Castle."

The two women received 20 copies of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "Kite Runner."

"I read through the listing of books and picked out five that I liked," Morrison said. "The organization decided which one I would receive 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou."

Granito said when she entered she was asked to pick three books from the list.

"When they let me know that I was to be one of the volunteers, they told me I would be giving away 'The Kite Runner,'" she said.

Granito said she hopes they let the volunteer pick the book next year because there was one written in Spanish that she thought would be good for the island.

Morrison and Granito said they would enter the contest again next year.

"Be looking for me and maybe others next year on April 23, 2013, to be handing out books somewhere on the island," Granito said. "Unfortunately the rules state that they cannot be given to friends or relatives."



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