This year I selected The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky for my Subversive Appleseeding project. In short, I purposely leave behind challenging books at conventions in the hope that said novels will find new readers.
I released the first book on Friday at PAX. This year I decided to include a letter with the book to see if I would get a response. This morning I received a thank you email. I’ve included a copy of the letter below hoping that other people adopt this hobby.
Subversive Appleseeding 2013 Letter
Greetings and Salutations,
The book you have discovered by accident is a gift from me to you. I believe that the right book in the right hands at the right time can change the world. (The above greeting was inspired by Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White.)
I found the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien quite by accident as an adolescent and it helped me through some dark times.
It occurred to me that sometimes the universe needs a little help with making sure that books find the right readers at the right time. I attend a good number of conventions in a given year and I have a tradition of leaving behind a subversive book that will challenge readers and maybe help them through a dark time.
I call this hobby Subversive Appleseeding. The first two books I’ve seeded were A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.
Conventions bring a wealth of opportunity to learn, socialize, and enjoy fellowship with your fellow nerds. When you leave the convention, please consider reading this book.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky covers the pain of adolescence and loss better than any other book I’ve read in a long time. It might be because I identified greatly with the protagonist Charlie or that reading this book actually made me cry. I think the world needs to relearn to appreciate the beauty of sadness.
Read this book and then pass it along to someone else that you might think needs it. Share art that touches you.
Excelsior! (To quote, Stan the Man Lee!)