World Book Night

6 Mar

What a brilliant day yesterday was! Thank you, thank you, Jamie Byng for coming up with the concept of World Book Night.

For those of you who’ve missed out on this amazing event, in a nutshell it’s:

… the most ambitious and far-reaching celebration of adult books and reading ever attempted in the UK and Ireland.

On Saturday, 5 March 2011, two days after World Book Day, with the full support of the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with libraries, World Book Day, the BBC and RTE, one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland.

The book give-away will comprise 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night.

The picture above represents my takings! I did rather well, don’t you think?

I went to a morning event at the wonderful Morrab Library in Penzance where I was given a copy of John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold … not to mention a scrumptious cream tea.

Then in the evening, a friend and I made our way to the St. Ives Library. I think the library expected a smattering of people, but it was standing room only! The place was overflowing! That was, of course, brilliant news for the library, but it meant that people didn’t necessarily get the book they wanted. But I still managed to snag copies of Alan Bennett’s A Life Like Other People’s and Ben Macintyre’s Agent Zigzag.

The books were given away by local authors Chris Higgins, Marion Whybrow and Liz Kessler who all talked a bit about why they chose the book they did.

Each book given away has a unique identifying number. The point is that you read your book, log your name in the back, then pass it on to someone else. You enter the number on the World Book Night website and can then trace its progress from reader to reader to reader. Brilliant.

My only regret is that I didn’t get myself organised enough this year to apply to be a giver. Not that I didn’t enjoy being a receiver, but I  hope next year to experience both sides of World Book Night.

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