Adults who don’t read much or don’t have easy access to books are the focus of today’s World Book Night when free books will be handed out around the world, including Lewiston where 20 free copies of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot will be given away.The books will be distributed at 4:30 p.m. in front of the new Lewiston Library Building downtown at the corner of Fifth and D Streets.
World Book Night started in the UK and Ireland last year and Lewiston is one of 6,000 towns and cities across the country participating in the 2012 program. Marcia Banta, a member of the Lewiston Library Foundation, heard about the program and applied for the free books.
“It was such a wonderful idea,” says Banta, a book lover who wanted to give others a chance to read a book she’d been especially touched by. Banta is retired and volunteers with the local cancer community. That interest led her to this book which explores cancer, cancer history and cancer research.
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is the true story of a poor Southern tobacco farmer descended from slaves whose cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of modern medicine’s most important tools.
The book was one of 30 chosen by a nationwide panel. Participating authors forgo royalties and American Book Publishers, the American Book Sellers Association, Barnes & Noble, The American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, Ingram Book Company, UPS and a dozen printers and binders pay for production and shipping.