Happy World Book Night!

This is the third year of World Book Night and also my third year being involved in the event. 20,000 volunteers (which I am one of) have been giving out 500,000 between us all (20 each) as part of this fantastic event.

The Challenge of Giving

The book I picked this year from the list is ‘Noughts & Crosses’ by Malorie Blackman. I have given my books out in different ways this year. I have given some out to members of my book club, on my train commute, and as a giveaway on Twitter/Facebook. Trying to reach 20 different people in as many different ways as possible is a challenge. The biggest challenge is that people are wondering what the catch is. Usually when someone approaches you carrying a book you think of a religious preacher and try to escape. I’m not a religious preacher but it can be unnerving I suppose for both parties. The other thing is that people don’t believe anything is free. There has to be a catch they say. No it’s a free book honestly. Just take it ,read it , hopefully enjoy and maybe then pass onto a friend or work colleague. Some people are fine but others take reluctantly. The last 2 World Book Night’s I gave away books at my local Hospital Radio Station. We did a special book themed show with requests which we collected while giving out the books. The first year we also had local author Jenna Burtenshaw come into the studio for an interview. The show was good fun but so was giving away the books. We all know being in hospital isn’t great and you need things to take your mind off things. Books are great for this and I hope the books we gave out were helpful I do fear one book didn’t last from last year for long as the guy took it and then said something about a smoke with it (I try not to think about it too much as it upsets the librarian in me). I do wonder where some of them have ended up. I checked the book crossing site the books from the first 2 years were linked to but nothing on there.

Who To Give To

Should you give to people who already read or to those that don’t. Ideally you would give it to someone who doesn’t read or doesn’t read much in the hope that it gives them their reading mojo back and they will discover or rediscover the joy of reading. These are the people though that are the most reluctant to take a book as they don’t seem interested straight away in taking a book and it is all about finding the balance between persuading and wasting everyone’s time. For a lot of people the only books they have probably read are those they had to do at school for English Literature. These are often fantastic books such as ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ‘Lord of the Flies’, ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and Shakespeare but sometimes the classroom is not the best environment for discovering these beautiful books and therefore some people can be put off from reading altogether. Hopefully some of the books from World Book Night will make their way to these people and make a difference to their lives. The other alternative is give it to people who already read. They are the easiest to give to as the already like books. However some people who read all the time stick to certain genres or authors and World Book Night is a great way for them to try something different and break that routine. They might actually enjoy it. I remember when I was giving some books out in the hospital I had one gentleman say no initially to the book I was giving away (Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier) because it was a female author. I don’t agree with this approach to reading or any book prejudice or snobbery but I explained to him the joys of the book and he took it. I hope he tried it and realised  he was wrong about his preconceptions.  So basically I think when it comes to giving a book then you should give to anyone, You never know you might even meet the love of your life (that was my secret hope). Theres a book out there for everyone, for every situation, you just need to find it.

How To Get Involved With World Book Night

First of all sign up to the World Book Night website to keep up to date with the book title selection news and that  all important ballot to become a book giver the following year. You can also keep up date with World Book Night on Twitter @worldbooknight . Both of these methods will also keep you up to date with local events on World Book Night so you can go and join in the activities. If you can’t get involved with the event then why not do your own giveaway. A lot of people have books they don’t need any more or maybe you want to share the enjoyment of a book you love with a new person then you can get involved with Book Crossing. The site gives you all the information you need and allows you to send a book out into the wild and as long as people update the web page when they get the book you track it’s journey.  One of the things I have done this year is I left a copy of Noughts & Crosses somewhere with a postcard in explaining things and with my twitter name. I don’t expect to hear but it would be interesting to see where it goes. Another idea is a secret book draw. This is a bit like the office secret Santa but instead you all buy a book for someone. There are loads of ideas so be creative. Another thing you could do and can be done at anytime is join your local library. Libraries are awesome places. If you find choosing a book a bit daunting ask the librarian there to help you choose. They love books and will be more than happy to help you discover something new. Another great website which will help you choose or discover a book is Goodreads. Goodreads is social media site all about books and reading and well worth getting involved with. Reading doesn’t have to cost you anything. Just go forth and read.

So Happy World Book Night and enjoy whatever you are reading.

Suggested books to read (as suggested my some of my Twitter and Facebook followers)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Hobbit by J.R. R. Tolkien

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Third Man by Graham Greene