Thursday, 25 April 2013

World Book Night 2013

 I love the excitement around World Book Night.

It all starts early on in autumn of the previous year when the applications to be a giver are opened and the mad scramble to think of a meaningful reason takes place. The long list will surely contain a title that you have read and loved if you are an avid book reader  Then you wait to hear if you have been successful- then after a while you have almost forgotten that you had applied and suddenly oh joy- yes!

Collection of the books after the email has dropped into your in box is always a highlight. I  collect from my local Library as something interesting always happens and it seems right in a way to use the library as a pick up point.In the same way that library books do not belong to the borrower neither do World Book Night titles. You as the giver are merely the conduit. This year my Husband bought tickets to a Nicholas Owen talk- [Days Like This, life as a broadcaster] we didn't know was on, also on World Book Night.

Then it's home and the signing session where you pretend to be an author or maybe I should rephrase that, you practice being an author.  As last year, my cat always has to become involved. This year a little sleep in the empty box whilst I was inscribing the editions.

I applied to distribute Damage by Josephine Hart , one of my all time favourites. I have read this book twice and I have reviewed this title previously here is the link: Damage by Josephine Hart.

World book Night for me had a certain syncronicity as I often find in life. In the day I happened to be in London for Breakthrough Breast Cancer attending a session on Breast Cancer in older people and their reduced access to treatments. Josephine Hart died from Ovarian Cancer, with her death the literary world lost a major writer of  skill, passion and talent. Lord Saatchi, her husband, launched the Medical Innovation Bill in 2012 into the research and treatment of cancer in the House of Lords. The central character of Damage is an MP. So some of the books made the journey to the Houses of Parliament. But my book did not go to MPs,  it went to the security guards on the Cromwell Green entrance, the people searching my bags and the personnel working in the gift shop. I also gave some to Breakthrough's volunteers who had come to support the initiative set out by the APPG.
I gave it away to bus drivers and the ticket office at the train station and the last copy went to the guest speaker at my writers group- a witch on witchcraft. That last gift also had a synchronicity all of its own but is not for this page today. No one I gave the book to had read it and I hope that I conveyed the quality of Hart's writing enough to tempt them to turn to the first page .

My lasting memory is of a recipient turning away from me and reading the back of the book, then opening it to the first page. At that moment it was the time to slip away, quietly. My job was done and they were about to experience great writing.

I love World Book Night.


  1. This sounds like a really interesting thing to do. I've not heard of it before. I'm sure that's my ignorance rather than anything else. So what happens? You apply and get given a stack of books to give out?

    1. Michael, it is great fun. You have a choice of titles and you apply to give out one. You collect about 20 copies for distribution. Here is the link so you can sign up for the newsletter for next year

  2. What a great idea! I shall check out your book choice now! :) Lovely post.

    1. Thank you Edith. Do let me know what you think when you have read the book.