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Linda Ann Duggins in love with the world of books and serving her community

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 4/19/2012, 4:28 p.m.

Avid readers are gearing up for World Book Night on April 23, and Linda A. Duggins, director of multicultural publicity at Hachette Book Group, sure

is happy about it.

This global event, according to organizers, is a celebration of reading and books that will see tens of thousands of people sharing books with others in communities across America and beyond.

Community organizations and individuals who contacted the World Book Night organizers were able to choose from a list of 30 books to distribute to

young folk, including "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, "The Hunger Games," "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" and "Kindred."

"The goal is to give books to new readers, to encourage reading, to share your passion for a great book," said Duggins.

"The first World Book Night was held in the U.K. last year, and it was such

a big success that it's spreading around the world! Zing!" WBAI radio fans are used to hearing her dulcet tones on "Off the Page." Duggins is also the co- founder of the famous Harlem Book Fair.

Reading is her passion. Well, one of them, next to her family, especially Moms (Silvia), and her spiritual pursuit for peace and balance. "We all come to this planet to serve."

She has worked for Hachette Books for 11 years "and it is a fun, fun,

fun place. Hachette Book Group is a leading U.S. trade publisher headquartered in New York and owned by Hachette Livre, the second largest publisher in the world," said Duggins.

"I like working with my authors, some of them I love. I respect someone's craft and I have to respect that book and someone's work.

Someone spent a lot of time putting that book together, and some authors work really hard to get the word out after the book comes out."

Duggins works with a lot of well-known authors, from Pam Grier and Shaquille O'Neal to Henry Louis Gates Jr., Tyrese Gibson and Felicia "Snoop" Pearson.

"I want people to know about the book, not only because it would be good for people to buy books, but reading is the ticket.

I mean, worlds open up, you have so much power with your knowl-

edge. I learned that a long, long, time ago. And no one can take that from you. When you read personal stories, you find that the writers are just like you and me."

Autobiography over ction? "People write books for lots of different reasons, I think healing is one of them. I think it can bridge people and communities together."

Duggins walks around with panoramic shades on. "I do," she beams some more. "I get on the subway, and I see love and life." When a good old New York attitude threatens to creep up on her, Duggins said, "I practice

mindfulness. I say, "Nobody shot me, I'm not dead. I rearrange the way I think about things.

I'm happy to be alive. I'm like, 'Get over yourself, girl.' I do things to