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Half a million free books to be given away

Volunteer book lovers in 5,000 communities across America, including Alexandria, will give away half a million free books on - April 23 (the birthday of William Shakespeare).

The efforts are part of World Book Night U.S., an ambitious campaign to give away free, specially printed books to people who may not be regular readers. The goal is to try to interest people in the pleasure of reading a good book.

Publishers have printed the copies at their expense, authors have given up any royalties on their books and the shipping costs to stores and libraries have been donated to make this project possible.

Cherry Street Books in Alexandria is one of the 5,000 independent bookstores and libraries across the nation participating in the effort.

The bookstore asked for volunteer "book givers" to select one of 30 titles that they would like to share with others.

Each book-giver will receive 20 copies of their chosen book. They will distribute the books in their communities to new or light readers, especially those in underserved places.

Cherry Street Books will host a gathering the week before World Book Night, on Wednesday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m. The store is located at 503 Broadway in Alexandria

For more information, contact Kathleen Pohlig at (320) 763-9400 or

For more information about World Book Night, visit the website