2013 was the first time I’d been involved in World Book Night. In fact, it was the first time I’d really come across it before. Literacy is so important to me, and for someone who grew up buried in one book or another, I cannot believe that people don’t read. The idea of one whole night dedicated to reading, to encouraging and enabling new readers, or those who just don’t do it as often as they should, is fantastic.
I heard about the list of books just in time to sign up, and was utterly thrilled when I found out I’d been selected to give away copies of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. This is one of my favourite books, by far one of the best I’ve read in the last couple of years, so the chance to share it with more people was brilliant.
I collected my books first thing this morning. Unfortunately I was ill on Monday and fully booked yesterday so I didn’t have a moment to get them, but I had some great giving experiences today so I’m just as happy to have waited.
The books were waiting at my local library, the last box to be collected. With the help of Jack, the assistant from reception, I unwrapped the books so I could load them up in my backpack. I asked him if he was a reader, and if he wanted to have my first copy of KoNLG, then scribbled down my email address in the hopes he’ll let me know when he finishes.
Outside the library I jumped on the free bus, clutching my overflowing bag of books. I looked at the people around me and wondered whether any of them would respond if I tried to ask them about books. I couldn’t help but think I’d get the crazy eye. But then, the bus swung around the corner past a homeless man I often see on my way to and from work. At the next stop, I jumped off again and hurried round to see him. I introduced myself and offered him a book and my breakfast, then ran back to get the next bus along so I could get to uni in time.
There were a couple of friends I had already promised copies of the book to, so I handed those out first thing, and we got on with the class. At lunchtime I made a quick announcement to the group about World Book Night and handed out a few copies. About half the group are teachers, so I’m hoping that some of them will read the book and pass it onto their students to read.
In the city centre this afternoon I ran into or hunted down a few more friends who I wanted to read the book, and left a couple around the vicinity of the City Art Gallery. As I was passing the other way on my journey home I noticed they’d already been snapped up! I hope they’ve gone to a good home.
I can honestly say it’s been fantastic taking part in this. My only regret is I had to cancel the event I had planned for last night and didn’t manage to get involved in the real spirit of the 23rd. On the other hand, I feel I’ve learned a lot of lessons about doing WBN and if I get the chance I’ll definitely make the most of it next time.
Of the list of 20, I’d only read a handful, so my mission over the next six months or so will be to try and read the rest of the books. And, of course, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the announcement of next year’s list of books in the hopes I can take part once again!