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!
I was lucky enough to be chosen as a book giver for World Book Night 2012 & I got my first choice, The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Unfortunately, something came up which meant that I wouldn’t be able to do the book give away on Monday, so I did it today (which seemed like a better idea anyway, as I could guarantee that I would get to speak to loads more people by doing it on the Saturday).
So, my OH & I went into the city around noon today, backpacks full of lovely new books & our heads full of positive thoughts about what we were doing. Well, it didn’t take long for those positive thoughts to take a battering. The first woman I approached waved me off – & not nicely. The second group of women I approached looked at me as if I had ten heads, snakes for hair & green stuff in my teeth. I turned on the charm, assured them there was no catch & told them what a wonderful book I was trying to give them. They reluctantly relented & I moved on to my next
victims group of people.
The day was one example of skepticism after another. It amazed me how many people brushed me off without even bothering to hear what I had to say. One women even told me to “f**k off!” Sorry people, I am only trying to bring a little “happiness-through-reading” into my tiny part of the world! Slowly, my pile of books dwindled, with the sceptics far outweighing the people interested in hearing what I had to say & gladly accepting my offer of a great free book.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple hilights – like the 2 young girls I spoke to at the end. They were dressed all in black, various piercings, dyed black hair, black make-up – not the kind of people I would normally associate with interest in reading. Well, they were so enthusiastic about the books, couldn’t have been happier to listen to me enthuse about The Time Travellers Wife & that made the whole misry-filled two & 1/2 hours completely worth it!
I read the Time Traveller’s Wife (now to be known as TTTW) a while ago (around the time that the movie was just coming out into the cinemas) & I loved it. Such a brilliant premise for a book & Audrey Niffenegger wrote it so well…………until the end. I was soooooo angry about how she ended this book. It’s like once she got to that climactic point (which I can’t talk about without giving the book away), she got bored & someone else finished the book for her. Either that or her Editor called her just after she’d finished writing that climax & told her he’d got the deadline wrong, that the book absolutely HAD to be sent for publication that very afternoon, so the ending is the best thing she could come up with during the taxi ride to the publishing house?
For those of you who are thinking about it, but as yet have not read TTTW, I say “Read it, you will enjoy it immensely, but be prepared to be hacked off about the ending!” For those of you who have no idea what TTTW is, or is about, should I say, then let me tell you a little bit – without giving too much of the story away.
Henry DeTamble is a mild mannered Librarian by day and a Time Traveller………no wait, that’s not quite right. Henry is a Time Traveller. His DNA is messed up, so he spends his spare time travelling through time & through his past. During one of Henry’s travels he meets Clare Abshire, who at the time is a small, but opinionated child. Henry & Clare bond & the majority of the book is around Henry travelling back to various points of Clare’s childhood/young womanhood, which is how we learn about the two characters. Eventually Henry & Clare’s paths cross when they are both in the same day/month/year & the two meet for the first time in the here & now.
The rest of the book is based around the concequences of Henry & Clare meeting in the present & how their futures have been shaped by Henry’s popping in & out of Clare’s past. Lost yet? Trust me, it will all make much better sense once you have read this wonderful book for yourself. (Unless the ending makes you hate the whole thing, that is. 🙂 lol)
TTTW really was a brilliant book & I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (until I got to the end – have I mentioned that bit yet?), so I thought best to avoid the movie, even though I know quite a few people who have read the book & seen the movie & loved the movie. Flash forward a few months & I am a captive audience hurtling through the air at a million miles an hour, on my way home to Canada for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary & TTTW was one of the choices of movies to watch. So, I decided to watch it. I’m glad I did! It was a very honest representation of the book, unlike some other book-to-movie adaptations I (& I am sure you) have seen. The ending wasn’t the same as the book & for that I would like to say “THANK YOU” to whoever the screenplay writer/s was/were! Still not a great ending, but miles better than the book!