I came across World Book Night on The Book People’s website just after Christmas. Luckily the deadline for applicants had been extended so I….well my fiance applied on our behalf.
For those who haven’t heard of it, World Book Night follows a few days after World Book Day, that’s usually run in schools. The kids are given vouchers and/or a free book to encourage reading. When I was at school it was just kicking off and I definitely looked forward to getting a free book since I didn’t get enough pocket-money to be able to walk into Waterstones to purchase a book. Since, it’s really bugged me how a lot of kids no longer use the vouchers or bother collecting the books, I’d love a free book! Finally, there’s something similar….better even, for kids, adults, for everyone.
On 5th March one million books will be given away for free across the UK and Ireland. 20,000 applicants were selected to be the ‘givers’ and will distribute their chosen book. Each applicant was asked to select a title from a list of 25 books that they’d already read and wanted to share with others.
I think it’s a great idea, though I’ve read a lot of comments from annoyed booksellers that don’t agree.
I really wanted to get involved but shamefully I’d not read a single book on the list. My fiance had read and enjoyed Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. So we picked that and luckily have been chosen as givers ourselves. I’m sure it’s a great book, I’ve been told a bit about it but I’m kicking myself because I’ve since come across two other books that I’d like to read that happen to be on the list.
Anyway, the aim is to encourage people who are ‘reluctant readers’, people with less access to books or just someone you think is deserving and would appreciate it.
I was on Facebook the other day reading through the comments and people have some really good ideas of how they will distribute their books. Some people will be taking theirs into hospitals, handing them out to fed up commuters on the London Underground,some are having parties or carefully handpicked students/people who would really appreciate a book. Some made their selection to increase awareness of related things such as Autism with the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I think it’s an amazing idea and wish I’d known more about some of the other books to have been able to do similar.
There’s a lot of annoyed people who weren’t picked to be givers.It’s disapointing that some of them had really good ideas and specific plans for the books. Others just thought they deserved to do it more than the next person. It’s about the books and who gets them, not the person giving them, people should keep that in mind.
We’re hoping to give half our books out at my fiance’s work since there are people working there from all walks of life and also (if they let us) join an event happening a few towns away where they are already giving out books. There are events up and down the country to draw more attention to the whole night, unfortunately not near us. It’s worth checking out your local one or attending the celebrations in Trafalgar Square on 4th/5th March. It’s gunna be a good one….