Local book distribution part of global effort

Deborah Morgan-Ellis of Port Angeles is poised to give away 20 free copies of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho today as part of World Book Night. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News

Deborah Morgan-Ellis of Port Angeles is poised to give away 20 free copies of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho today as part of World Book Night. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — They come today and tonight, bearing gifts: gifts to whisk the unsuspecting stranger off to another place, another life.

In other words, these givers will give away books.

More than 25,000 such givers are heading out across the United States and Europe — and 85 of those are representing Port Angeles in World Book Night, the one-stranger-at-a-time giveaway.

World Book Night [www.USWorldBookNight.org] is funded by the American Booksellers Association and various publishers, and is designed to put free books — novels, poetry, nonfiction — into the hands of people who might not otherwise own them.

World Book Night’s organizers chose a kaleidoscope of 30 titles for the project, from Tina Fey’s Bossypants to Willa Cather’s My Antonia to The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

So Alan Turner, owner of Port Book and News, and April Bellerud, owner of Odyssey Books, both Port Angeles bookshops, seized the opportunity to serve as conduits for the endeavor, signing up givers and distributing the boxes full of books earlier this month.

Port Book has 50 volunteer givers out there today, including Turner himself, who will take David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day and Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens out to City Pier.

“That’s where the kids hang out,” said Turner.

Odyssey Books staffer Angela Smith, meanwhile, will give away copies of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 at the William Shore Memorial Pool.

That’s just one of her stops, in fact, as she makes the rounds among her four children’s after-school activities today.

Smith also will hand out Looking for Alaska by John Green, a story of a teenager who doesn’t feel like he fits anywhere.

Smith has a book-giving companion in her husband Erik; they’ve done some trading with other givers at Odyssey and loaded the car with a few other titles, including Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

“We just think it’s an amazing opportunity to give books to the community,” Smith said.

Deborah Morgan-Ellis and Gary Heaton of Port Angeles are part of a small team of givers who meet Monday nights for a study group at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

They’re planning to fan out, books in hand, to Serenity House and Healthy Families of Clallam County shelters and housing.

Other givers will go out to LaPush and the Quileute Tribal Center, said Turner, adding that that’s probably the westernmost place on World Book Night’s U.S. map.

Altogether, volunteers from Port Angeles are equipped to give away 1,700 books, which impresses Turner.

“This takes some effort, putting yourself out there, approaching strangers,” he said.

This is Port Angeles’ second year as a World Book Night participant; Turner said he saw a 10 percent increase, from 45 to 50, in givers from last year to this year. In 2014, he’d like to see the giver number top 100.

“This small town,” he said, “can be really proud of its giving spirit.”

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe celebrates library opening

Chairman/CEO: New facility is ‘second to none’

Solar array, battery storage to be installed on Port Angeles Senior Center

System could provide hours of backup power in case of an outage

UPDATE: Power restored between Sequim, Port Angeles

A tree has been removed from a Clallam County PUD… Continue reading

Road work to close Quinault Loop

Work crews from Haztech Drilling will begin geotechnical drilling… Continue reading

Fiber gathering Thursday at Studio Bob

Marva Holmes will host “St*tch & B*tch” at 4:30… Continue reading

Dream Playground to be fully covered by insurance

Donations still will be used in May rebuild

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual Shipwrights Regatta on Port Townsend Bay on Saturday. More of a fun event than a sailing competition, awards are given out during a pizza party afterward for the most navigationally challenged (Directional Helmet trophy) and for the “saltiest” boat and crew. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Shipwrights Regatta

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual… Continue reading

The City of Sequim hosts 13 manufactured home/mobile home parks with 596 existing units and 786 approved dwelling units. City staff continue to look into zoning options that could protect these sites from redevelopment to help protect affordable housing options in the city. (City of Sequim)
Sequim extends its mobile home moratorium

City staff to work preserving manufactured housing option

Olympic Medical Center chief outlines efforts at improvements

Decreased number of travelers among them

Jay and Trudi Inslee wear red for #WearRedDay to support women’s heart health in 2022. (Jay Inslee)
Gov. Inslee reflects in his final year of three terms

On the second level of the white and gray marbled… Continue reading

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer as coworker Robert Bufford prepares to secure the load as the pair prepares to open the parking lot at Port Angeles City Pier to automobiles on Friday. The work was part of a project to improve storm drainage, replace damaged sidewalks and ADA ramps and mitigate shoreline erosion around the lot, which had been closed since early January. Tree replacement and other project detail work is expected to follow over the next few weeks.
City Pier parking open

Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer… Continue reading

Sequim Citizen of the Year luncheon on Tuesday

Emiko Brock, Labbe, Olsen to be honored