Hot on the heels of World Book Day on Thursday is the new and exciting World Book Night. A million books are being given away from today by thousands of ‘book-givers’ around the country who chose a book from the list of 25 and have now been given 48 copies to share with others.
WBN was launched last night with a huge event in a chilly Trafalgar Square, London (just feet from our own Westminster Reference and Charing Cross Libraries). There were readings from Alan Bennett, Margaret Atwood, John Le Carré, Philip Pullman, Edna O’Brien, Sarah Waters and Monica Ali, plus other speakers such as Suggs, Nick Cave and Rupert Everett.
Some of our own staff and customers are book-givers, here are a few of their plans:
“I am giving away Beloved by Toni Morrison in Hastings, East Sussex on Saturday afternoon. Hastings is a town of great deprivation in the South East, an area not normally associated with poverty. Beloved is beautifully written and although it may not be the most inspiring book as it contains cruelty, hardship and suffering, there is hope at the end. I just thought something free and of value would be good to give away in the shopping streets.”
“My chosen book is ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold’, by John Le Carre. I am currently reading it and hope to give away copies of the book from Whiteleys Shopping Centre, Queensway, W2.”
“I’m giving out Toast by Nigel Slater. I’m going to give them out at a party on World Book Night being held by my local bookshop in SE London.”
You can follow events on Twitter with the hashtag #worldbooknight, and there’s also an evening of bookishness on BBC2 tonight, with reports from WBN events around the country and a show highlighting 12 new novelists and their work.
Are you a book-giver? Have you been given a WBN book? We’d love to hear about it – which one, where, and what do you think?