Last year I had the opportunity to be a World Book Night giver. I stood in the middle of Nottingham Town Square and approached complete strangers, people I didn’t see walking around with books. I spoke to loads of people & asked them whether they liked to read books & whether I could offer them a book I had read & loved – The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Boy was it hard! A lot of people looked at me like I was a lunatic, walked the other way when they saw me coming & I even had one person tell me to “F*%k off!”. I’ll be honest, it really made me sad that people were so wary of listening to what I had to say, but I persevered & eventually I managed to find 20 people who would put their scepticism away long enough to listen to me, would tell me their stories & would eventually accept my offer of a free book.
Unfortunately I forgot to save the list of numbers that were in my books, so I was unable to look them up & see if the people who got my books did as I asked & passed it on, which is a real shame because that’s a big part of what World Book Night is about. Over the year I hummed & hawed about whether to sign up to be a giver again this year. OH & I have moved & we’re in a new community & we only know 1 person in the area we’ve moved to, so I thought what a great way to get out there I the community & maybe make a difference? So, I did sign up to be a giver & I chose a book that is such an easy, delightful read – The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith & I decided to give them away within my local community. Specifically in the hospice & the local hospital. I never in a million years expected to get chosen 2 years in a row, though because so many people apply & they only accept 20, 000 people to give away 20 books each.
So, tonight I got an email telling me Congratulations, I had been chosen as a giver! I am really excited this year – more so now that I know what to expect! I do think this year will be very different & I am so glad to be chosen to be part of this group of people trying to bring the joys of reading to people who, for various reasons don’t read a lot. And in answer to the question above – I think the World Book Night website sums it up best “One third of households in the UK don’t have a single book in them. World Book Night wants to change that, change lives and open up a world of possibility to those who haven’t discovered why reading matters. And we need your help – not just as book lover and a passionate volunteer but also, if you can, as a donor.”
Roll on April 23rd!