Tuesday, 23 April 2013

World Book Night 2013

So it's World Book Night again. That day of the year when 20,000 volunteers distribute half a million books to members of the public for free, aiming to reach those who aren't regular readers.

I applied to be a volunteer giver again this year, and was chosen to give out 20 copies of Girl With A Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier.
So how did it go?
Well, there's not an awful lot to tell this year: I gave out all 20 books within 23 minutes!
Stationed outside the Jobcentre with my partner P (it's more fun with two!) we approached people going in, on their way out, and walking past. 
Several people had actually heard about World Book Night this year, via Twitter and news articles, and were keen to be a part of it. 
A few took the books almost absent-mindedly; one young lad took one to pass on to his mum; the local shopkeeper, on a smoke-break, took one and started reading it there and then; two care-workers on an outing took books, as did two of their clients; and two ladies, with bright eyes and indrawn breath,  said that they'd seen the film and that being given the book had made their day. 
23 minutes, 20 happy people. Job done!
The Bear takes up residence in the empty WBN book delivery box!

This year we had also decided to organise an official World Book Night event on the 22nd: a book swap and poetry reading at our local pub. 
The landlord was more than happy with the idea of extra custom on a slow week-night, and gave us permission to take over one area of the pub.
So we piled a table high with second-hand books culled from our personal collections, set out a plate of tempting biscuits, and waited for people to arrive. 
It was a modest crowd but we made new friends, and between us managed to donate, swap and acquire a lot - a lot! - of second-hand books.
It took a little while to get the poetry readings started, but once we did they flowed easily. Our eclectic collection included a witty take on 50 Shades of Grey, some Shakespeare in Klingon, some Lewis Carroll, and a poem that one of our friends had written himself.
It was simplicity to organise, and we're considering doing it again soon. When there are so many people eager for free books - why wait?
You can read about last year's World Book Night here.

No comments:

Post a Comment