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Sleepy Hollow Bookworms Want To Inspire Joy of Reading

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow resident Karen Ringen calls the idea of passing out free books to complete strangers “a great opportunity.” So that's what she plans to do on April 23.

“I've been a bookseller most of my life, and books are really important to me,” Ringen said.

Ringen will be one of many throughout the rivertowns taking part in World Book Night , an international event designed to promote reading by getting people talking about their favorite books. The movement began in the United Kingdom and has recently spread across the pond.

This year's event features 30 books spread out across age groups and genres, including Suzanne Collins' “The Hunger Games,” Maya Angelou's “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and Dave Eggers' “Zeitoun.”

“Volunteer book givers will go out on April 23 in places where people don't ordinarily read like bars or train stations or diners and talk about a book they love and give it to people,” Warner Library Director Maureen Petry said. “Authors have given up their royalties to do this and publishers have published special editions so that the books are available for free.”

Petry was on hand Monday night at the library to help book givers collect the books they'd be giving away.

Tarrytown resident and Sleepy Hollow High School alumnus Elly Weisenberg will be giving out copies of the Spanish-language edition of “The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz to students in an AP Spanish class for World Book Night, the high school announced in March.

Ringen said she plans to pass out Sherman Alexie's “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” in front of the American Indian Museum in New York City.

“I thought it would be a good way to tie in the museum and the book because I can get people to take the book and then go into the museum,” Ringen said.

Warner Library staff member Casey Arciola is also participating in World Book Night. She found out about the event through Ringen's Facebook page and thought it would be a great way to reach out to the many kids who visit the library.

“There's so many kids that come in because they don't have Internet access, and they're so happy to be on the Internet that they don't take books out,” Arciola said. “I really want them to have something that they can keep and they can see how wonderful it is, how powerful the books are and get a whole new generation of readers.”

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