This is Your Brain on "Bossypants"
Published on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 9:47am
This evening, don’t be surprised to see people on street corners giving away books. They are participating in World Book Night — and inadvertently offering stress relief.
51 District volunteers are among 25,000 people around the country distributing free copies of popular books. Their goal is to remind people that reading is a way to relax and be entertained.
Library Associate Racheal Hawthorne is volunteering and plans to give her books away at bus stops near the Gallery Place Metro Station. "I do most of my reading while riding the bus to and from work. It takes my mind off my daily stress while keeping my mind active."
Hawthorne's view isn't just a feeling — it's scientifically validated. Research has shown that blood flow to the brain increases during relaxed reading and stress can be reduced by up to 68 percent. Researchers attribute this drop to the brain having to concentrate on reading, which displaces people's daily stressors.
Now in its third year, World Book Night events are also taking place in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Each volunteer will give away 20 copies of a book. A panel of librarians and booksellers selects 30 titles based on their ability to engage readers. The authors of the books waive their royalties and book publishers produce special World Book Night editions. While the event is called World Book Night, volunteers can distribute books any time on April 23.
The 2013 Work Book Night Titles are:
- "The Handmaid’s Tale" by Margaret Atwood
- "City of Thieves" by David Benioff
- "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury
- "My Antonia" by Willa Cather
- "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier
- "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros
- "La Casa en Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros -translated by Elena Poniatowska
- "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
- "El Alquimista" by Paulo Coelho
- "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
- "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan
- "Bossypants" by Tina Fey
- "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova
- "Looking for Alaska" by John Green
- "Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham
- "Mudbound" by Hillary Jordan
- "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster; illustrated by Jules Feiffer
- "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis
- "The Tender Bar" by J.R. Moehringer
- "Devil in a Blue Dress" by Walter Mosley
- "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life" by James Patterson
- "Population 485" by Michael Perry
- "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
- "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan
- "Montana Sky" by Nora Roberts
- "Look Again" by Lisa Scottoline
- "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris
- "The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith
- "Glaciers" by Alexis M. Smith
- "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court" by Mark Twain
- "Salvage the Bones" by Jesmyn Ward
- "Favorite American Poems in Large Print" edited by Paul Negri