PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester author Lisa Mannetti distributed over 20 books to students, parents and community residents on Monday as part of an international celebration of reading called "World Book Night."
"World Book Night" is a reading initiative started in the United Kingdom in 2011 that is designed to spread the love of reading books. This year marks the first year the United States has celebrated the event, which enlists authors and book enthusiasts to distribute free copies of literature to people that might not otherwise read them.
Mannetti, a Port Chester native, is the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction works. Although a self-described horror writer and Stephen King fan, Mannetti chose to distribute John Irving's “A Prayer for Owen Meaney.” Mannetti said she originally read the book for the first time when it came out 1989, but has since reread it so many times that the binding has to be held together with tape.
"John Irving is one of my favorite writers," Mannetti said. "It's a brilliant book and I love the book."
According to Mannetti, over 500,000 books will be distributed by 25,000 authors across the United States and United Kingdom. Mannetti, a graduate of Corpus Christi School, moved back to the village eight years ago when her mother passed away. She spoke about the importance of reading to any community.
"I fell in love with reading as a kid," Mannetti said. "Don't get me wrong, I love the Internet and movies, but there is still something about reading that takes you places you couldn't go to do something else."