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World Book Night: coming your way, but no room for Amazon

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Luke Macgregor/Reuters

(Read caption) Twenty thousand volunteers will hand out 1 million books in Britain for World Book Night. In the US much of the publishing industry is helping to underwrite the event, but not Amazon, which was not invited to participate.

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It’s the Super Bowl of literary athletes, the Mardi Gras of bibliophilic partiers, Christmas for book-lovers across the world.

It’s World Book Night, the day when tens of thousands of volunteers in the US and Europe will hand out millions of free books to underserved communities to encourage reading.

In the US, 25,000 volunteers will distribute 500,000 free paperback books in some 5,800 communities across the country through book-centered events and community drop-offs. In Britain, 20,000 volunteers will distribute 1 million books. Ireland and Germany are celebrating, too.

“It’s like an intellectual Halloween, only better,” novelist and essayist Anna Quindlen, the program’s honorary chairwoman, told USA Today. “We’re giving out books, not just Mars bars.”

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