Yesterday my dog Ella brought the roof down in that way she does when the UPS person is up on the porch. Only...I hadn't ordered anything. I brought the unexpected box inside and found 8 copies of a brand new edition of Pay It Forward in Simplified Chinese.
Now, I agree that this news, all on its own, does not a Pay It Forward resurgence make. But it comes on the heels of a letter I received from Simon & Schuster about three months back, telling me they had just sold translation rights to a Hungarian publisher.
The novel Pay It Forward is more than 12 years old. Just the fact that it's still in print is a publishing miracle. The new trade paperback edition put out by S&S in 2010 shows they understand the book is not going away anytime soon. In 2000 and 2001 the book was in print in about 30 different countries. But then, of course, it went out of print in those countries. This is normal in my business. Now it's coming back into print outside the US. This is not normal in my business, to put it in as understated a way as possible.
What's behind all this? Well, we're all left to decide what makes sense to us. Obviously the Pay It Forward concept is enjoying more popularity than ever. Our new PIF Foundation president Charley Johnson is creating a whirlwind of energy behind his Pay It Forward Experience site. He's done TedX talks, traveled abroad to multiple countries to meet with others who share a similar vision. A PIF Facebook group sprang up and swelled to about 5,000 members in a matter of just a few weeks. And they are worldwide, and mobilizing as Pay It Forward Denmark, Pay It Forward Belgium, Pay It Forward France, and many more.
Then the book starts to come back into print in different locations around the world. I know of at least two other countries, besides the ones mentioned above, where someone in that country is behind the scenes, trying to make something happen with a new translation of the book.
Call it what you will. I call it a resurgence of Pay It Forward. What's most amazing is that this time, unlike the experience I had last time under the huge shadow of the movie, it appears that the book is not being left behind.
My thanks to Charley and all the Pay It Forward people all over the world. Let's make it happen!