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Kevan Pratt, left, gave away free copies of 'Mudbound' during World Book Night.To promote the love of reading, book enthusiasts in Culver, Madras and Warm Springs passed out free paperback books on World Book Night, April 23.

World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free paperbacks to light and nonreaders. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany.

Locally, librarian Kim Bezdek and students gave away copies of "Girl with a Pearl Earring" at Beetle Bailey's restaurant and Culver High School Library, Tammie Schongalla handed out her book "Playing for Pizza" in front of Madras High School as parents dropped off their kids, and Jan Aderson handed out "My Antonia" in Warm Springs. CHS counselor Kevan Pratt also gave out his book “Mudbound.”

“We went up and down the main street of Culver giving away books to people on the street and in businesses,” Bezdek said. “It was shocking to realize how many people don't read, so it was gratifying to be able to give people books and encourage them to read,” said volunteer Marie Schumacher. Jordan Henson also assisted and said it helped him meet more people in the community. “I was excited that the Culver High School library was chosen as a pick-up location and that we had three book givers this year. I also wanted to encourage reading as much as I could and this was a great way to get people talking about books and getting more books into people's hands,” Bezdek said. Next year, she is hoping more people will sign up to hand out books for the event.

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