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Happy World Book Night everyone!
This year was my first year taking part in World Book Night as a giver. With a mixture of excitement and nerves!
World Book Night (for those who don’t know) is sort of like World Book Day, but for adults. The idea is to get people who wouldn’t normally read to read. Events take part up and down the country and half a million books are given away, some by givers (like me) and some are given directly to hard to reach areas.
I gave away 20 copies of Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair which is a favourite of mine. I picked it because it is easy to read, it’s engaging, it’s funny nd exciting, and it has a little bit of everything. Plus it’s the first in a series which makes it easy to go on from there, as well as being related to Jane Eyre, which is another way to continue your reading.
I was giving away copies to parent and staff at the nursery where I work, which is in a deprived area of Birmingham. It actually went much better than I expected. Not one parent who I offered a book to refused it, and a couple of staff took books too.
I actually found that quite a few of the parent like reading, I don’t tend to know the parents that well and it was interesting to see something new about them. One parent in particular was really interested to the book. He was asking me what it was about and about the rest of the series, he said he would definitely read it, but that it was his wife who should read more. Another told me she was reading The Help at the moment but would read The Eyre Affair next, then pass it on to her Mum who she said was also a reader. One of the grandparents seemed unsure at first but once she found lut there was a crime element, and it was also connected to Jane Eyre she changed her mine- and said she would pass it on to Mum. Quite a few seemed to think they needed to pay for them, or make a donation, maybe adults are just not used to getting free stuff, these seemed to be particularly gracious when they found out it was theirs to keep for free.
Some of the kids actually seemed interested too, which is good in a role model sense. The granddaughter of the grandparent I mentioned before asked why she got a book, and got the reply “because I was a good girl”. Another kid insisted on ‘reading’ the book himself. And another actually picked up a book for his parents, claiming it was about “George’s Day”, probably because it is St. George’s Day today.
I have been a Bookcrosser on and off for 8 years. I tend to go through phases when I do a lot of Bookcrossing and phases when I do none. Since recently sorting out my bookshelf I’m on a bit of an on phase at the moment. While today I was registering books and it suddenly occurred to me, I should do a post on Bookcrossing. I really don’t know why the thought had never occurred to me before.
Bookcrossing is basically a way of sharing books with the world. A Bookcrosser will register a book on The Bookcrossing Website before passing it on, or (and this is where it gets fun!) leaving it somewhere for someone to find. Within each book will be contained a little note saying where the book has come from, what Bookcrossing is and with a BCID (or BookCrossing IDentification). Once someone has read the book they enter the BCID on the website and leave a note saying what they thought about the book and where they are sending it next. In this way one book can be shared all around the world!
I love leaving books all over the place and imagining who might pick them up. I especially like to put books in a place where I can watch (e.g. another table in a cafe, a different seat on the bus) and see who picks it up, who looks at it, who takes it. There’s a certain thrill to it, especially when it’s a book you want to share with the world. What I love the most is when I hear back from a book, unfortunately it doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but maybe that’s what makes it special. I’ve had some really nice comments back too.
The Dutch girl who read her first book in English
The woman who found the book the day before she moved to Spain
The girl who found a new author
I’ve tried to do a few funky releases too. I left Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a branch of Thorntons for one. My favourite though is the book I released by balloon (I just wish I had heard back from it!). I’m also a fan of releasing favourite books, I am on somewhat of a mission to release all the Harry Potter books (I’ve only got Deathly Hallows to go), and I’ve released a few copies of Captain Correli’s Mandolin, plus copies of Birdsong. I figure if you’re going to share a book you may as well share one you love.
I’ve found books from Bookcrossing too, which is just as exciting. This is the first one I found….as I was leaving another Bookcrossing book! There are such things as Official BookCrossing Zones (it’s where I found Big Fish and Olivia Joules) but while they are a good way to know that your book will be picked up by someone who values it I find it lacks the excitement of a wild release.
You can find me on Bookcrossing as Lucy-bird.
Find out more about Bookcrossing:
The Bookcrossing Website