A Bit of Post World Book Night Syndrome

P1010896 Have you ever anticipated something for a really long time and then when the thing that you anticipated for so long finally arrives it is a bit of a let down emotionally?  I think I am suffering Post World Book Night Syndrome.

The day has come and gone and I am left…….a bit sad.  There, I said it.  My experience was just that—a bit sad.  But a learning experience.

I thought that my first foray into the World Book Night adventure would be best suited if I could get someplace who would “promote” and help me reach the masses so I chose the local library. I know a lot of readers go there but also it is a sort of “gathering place” for folks. But alas, it was not to be.

Don’t get me wrong.  I had fun.  I had some fabulous local friends who came to support me and showed up for me. That meant a lot.  What I did not have were the target light to non readers.  I had counted on those folks who just come to the library to use the computers and borrow videos to be there. They weren’t.  In fact, hardly anyone was there for the hour and half that I was set up.

Oh and did I mention that I had an awesome display?  Complete with bookmarks, stickers, and cards with all of the info needed to join in next year to be a book giver??


P1010899I might have gone over the top a little bit.  Yes, it was a bit of that junior high science fair project type mentality that kicked in.  I wanted things to give away.  I wanted a bright display with graphics that caught the eye.  I wanted something interactive so I had a board where folks could write the name of  their favorite book. I even had colorful fabric with letters on it (JoAnn’s did not have any book fabric) to put on the table.  I might have overdone it.

My first give away was kind of an ambush but I was told it was a nice ambush so I guess that was a good thing.  The other two at the library were a little less traumatic but I still did not feel that I was reaching who I was supposed to be reaching with the books.  We chatted and several folks stopped by and wrote down their favorite books.  One guy wrote down about 15 instead of 1.  He definitely loved to read. Jeremy was happy to share his with me, too, as you can see below.  His favorite book?  “The Grapes of Wrath”.

P1010900So I was left after an hour and half with 17 books left to give away.  The weather outside was pathetic, no one is out and I had to come up with a plan.  Hospice was a great place to be able to leave some so the families there will get something special.  All of the other places that I wanted to go were not open by the time I was finished at the library so my plan is to distribute the rest a day late and get them in the hands of some folks who really will love having them.

Lessons learned?

  • Enthusiasm is a great thing and I still believe that World Book Night is an amazing thing.
  • Next year I will choose a different location and start a little earlier in the day handing them out so that I can get the distribution completed before it gets dark.
  • Handouts are great but not really needed—I could have eliminated some of my stress by not going over the top about having all those done.
  • Bombard the local media outlets with information and then bombard them some more—then maybe some coverage will occur.
  • I am obviously not connected with the people that would benefit from this program so my goal is to figure out how to change that.
  • Bottom line —-location , location , location.

So there you have it.  I am trying hard to not view this as a failure but doggone it—-it kind of felt that way for a little bit.  I think I got myself too hyped up about it but then it is all about the love of reading and sharing it so that is what I will continue to do.  Here’s to a great learning experience —you can’t grow if you don’t learn.

LATE BREAKING NEWS:  It is now Thursday, April 24th and I no longer have any books!  I decided to go right out in my own neighborhood and visit the Assisted Living facility that is out my front door—Homestead.  What a fabulous experience.  I gave the remaining books out to the residents, staff and even the Fed Ex guy who dropped off a package.  I got smiles, hugs, hand kisses and lots of gratitude.  While some of the folks who received the books were readers already I am confident that those books will be shared widely and the joy will continue to be spread.  Lesson learned—don’t work so hard to make something happen.  Keep it simple!!!




Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Beth Ann no way a failure! Never a failure when you learn something. You learned things last night that will help you next year! Or learned things that might help you today!!!

  2. Results different from what you expected doesn’t mean you failed! You did great work – keep it up.

  3. Your display looks great! I think it’s really great that you had this opportunity. You are not a failure. It’s a great idea to distribute the books to those in hospice since they and their families might not have many chances to go to events. I’m sorry I arrived so late:(

    • I am so honored that you came by—even if I wasn’t there! My friends showed up and that made my night! Today I am going to go give the rest out and that will be a good thing. I think next year I will just just have a different plan!!!!

  4. Aw….. I can imagine how disappointed you must have felt. But, Pix (and the others) are right: you have some great ideas for next year…. and I just bet you won’t be disappointed with your next endeavor. I’m sure the places where you’ll deliver the “leftover” books will be thrilled to have them.

    • I think so, too! I just picked the wrong place and had too high of expectations of the local media to pick up on it ……missed opportunity for them in my humble opinion! I was just hoping to give the library some love and get them excited about what THEY could do to be a part of it and that did not happen. Next year I will do things differently!!!!

  5. Aww. Bummer. But I think it was a success because of how you took it as an opportunity to learn. There is a place for your beautiful enthusiasm and generous spirit to flourish and be fully appreciated. You just haven’t found it yet. Don’t give up. (I know you won’t.)

  6. Awww, I know how excited you were about this. But, do not consider this a failure. You put your best effort into this give away, so what more could you do? And you learned.

    Go to the grocery store maybe. I can’t imagine shoppers turning down a free book there.

    I like your hospice location for leaving a few books.

    Onward, dear friend. Onward.

    • Yep!!! I am going to give the rest out today and I am so happy that I gave it my all, you know? I guess the coverage in the local paper did not do it, 🙂

  7. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t go as you’d hoped, but your last statement sums it up well — “You can’t grow if you don’t learn.” At least you can rest assured you gave it your all. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, our efforts fall into a wasteland. Better luck today!

  8. Sorry that it was a let down for you. Have you thought of Chapters?

  9. Your display was AWESOME. I loved it! Over the top wonderful. Do you remember what we use to say to the kids after a losing sports game… “Well you had fun right?” And then they would glare at us and head for snack? Well…I am sure it would have been more fun if more people had shown up but you showed up! The books were handed out (a night and morning–not bad at all), and the reading commenced. I proclaim you a World Class Book Worm Star! A Gold Star!

    • THANK YOU! I am happier this morning after I unloaded the rest. I must admit I was verklempt and felt that I had failed but it was location!!!! Just like in real estate. And yes—the reading has begun!

  10. Nothing is ever a failure when a true heart gives it her all and there are lessons learned. You are right. Location is key. That will be something you will figure out by next year…where is the best location. Hospice IS good. What about senior centers? Or churches? Your display was wonderful. HEY…what about at the grocery store…where the kids sell cookies et all…maybe they’d let you set up there!

    • I just added a NEWS FLASH to that post! I went in my own neighborhood and gave them out at the assisted living place! I got hugs, smiles and even hand kisses!!! So there you have it!!! Right in my own front yard and I missed the opportunity1!!

  11. Rhonda True says:

    You posted a picture of my son and I just learned something about him from your post! I did not know “the Grapes of Wrath” was his favorite book.! Beth, I truly feel you were the victor in this process. Distributing books to people that are not generally recognized affects their lives in such a positive way and more than you realize. I am looking forward to this Garrison Keilor book. Thanks!

    • I had a feeling this was your son, Rhonda!!! 🙂 I am so glad he shared the book with you—it made my night that he stopped by and really was happy to take a book. I was thrilled to give the rest out today and I turned my experience into a winning experience ! I think I was a little too tied to the “rules” at the start and then I decided to just have fun with it and it was so much better!!! Sara did a wonderful post promoting it also —-I am blessed by all of my Mason City friends!!!

  12. createwithjoy says:

    Hi Beth Ann,

    Your display (and You Tube Video) were FABULOUS – and I’m glad that in the end, everything worked out well!

    I think the process is definitely a learning experience – but I trust that in the end, the books will end up in the hands of those who are meant to have them!

    So glad to find a blogger I know who also participated in this event this year. Hope you’ll have the opportunity to participate again next year as well! 🙂

  13. I feel for you as I have had this happen to me more than a few times. But, I still continue to get excited and go overboard with special events, because sometimes it all works out splendidly. I’m sure the folks at the senior centre were tickled to get the books. A great idea.

  14. Awww…no way a failure. Your enthusiasm in yesterday’s post still lingers with me although I did not comment. I loved yesterday’s post.
    As a teacher, I’m still amazed at the ones I reach and the ones I do not reach. No way did you fail. Keep going, girl. You’re doing great! I for one, learn about the great reads out there from you and your fans.

  15. Keep it simple — that’s great advice, not just for book giving, but for life. 😉
    I bet the folks in the assisted living were thrilled to have those books to read. Sounds like it all worked out in the end.

    Do you think you’ll want to do this again next year?

    • Definitely will do it again next year, Jackie! Definitely! But won’t be putting os much prep work into it before hand. What I learned was simpler is better and less stressful! But my intention was to try to get other readers aware of it and get them involved to the point that maybe the next year the local library would be a pick up point for books and take an active part. I don’t see that happening though. They did not really get behind it like I had hoped they would. I guess my enthusiasm was not contagious!

  16. i would have thought a library the perfect venue. I like your set-up, too–well done, and so cheerful. I’m glad you found the right place, after all!


  1. […] on a small version of a Freedom Rock on his Freedom Rock Tour.   I had just picked up my books for World Book Night 2014 at the Britt Public Library and we were driving home when I spied out of the corner of my little […]

I love your comments--each one makes me smile and makes a difference for Comments for a Cause! Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: