World Book Night – The Night

We looked forward to giving out our copies of ‘Northern Lights’ at an event we specifically chose to attend, we were told other people would there giving books out that night too. I thought it would be so much better to give them out at the event where people came out on a Friday night to be apart of World Book Night and to get hold of a book rather than of handing them out to passers-by who may only take the book because it was free.(I heard about this happening a lot).

I had visions of a great night handing out books, talking about them, meeting people etc etc
What it actually happened went like this, we arrived at the venue and the person in charge of the event took our books into another room while the ‘entertainment’ took place. We stood up for two hours watching a great gospel choir that sung briefly,followed by a bunch of miserable looking 12-year-old girls and their dance teacher(?) ‘dancing’ around, out of time to the music, repeating the same few moves throughout five difference songs. Their teacher seemed to crave the attention and completely overshadowed the girls the whole time. They were a professional dance club but if it were my child I’d have asked for the membership fees back.

After that was final over the audience was bored to tears listening to two local quiz teams answering questions about Dr Who and children’s TV shows.

Finally,as an after thought the book giving was announced. People soon woke up and proceeded to crowd into a small room where all the books were laid out. We were kind of pushed to one side as the staff took over, even though we were supposed to physically hand the books out to whom we chose. There was about 48 copies of 15 different titles and only one other ‘giver’ stayed, the others dumped their books and went home. This really annoyed me, there were hundreds of people who applied to be givers and were turned down and these people couldn’t even be bothered to do it.

The whole point of World Book Night was for people to give others a book they might not normally read/buy or people who don’t read at all and for them then to pass them on, encouraging someone else to read them. Instead, much to the annoyance of the woman in charge(she told people they could only take one book each, i thought this was unfair since there was about 600 books and about 150 people who would like to read more than one of the titles) people just helped themselves because the books were free. Their children mostly under 12 were allowed to take what they wanted and neither the staff nor their parents stopped them. It was such a waste of books, apart from our title none of the others were suitable for children and I imagine they will end up in a cupboard or thrown away.

Loads of books were abandoned even with people loaded them into their bags but I’m glad we managed to rescue some of ours and kept some back. Some of ours are being sent to local care homes in hope they will brighten someone’s day, some have been given out in the break room of a local hospital and the rest i think will find homes as we go….

I’d be interested in hearing about anybody else that had a disappointing experience with such a great event.