As most of you bookworms know, it was World Book Night on Tuesday 23rd April. For those who are unaware, World Book Night gives "Givers" the chance to share one of their favourite books with people who don't usually read that much in the hope that it will get them into reading. And the best part is, it's FREE!
What you may not know however, is that this year was my first year as a Giver! I had seen people in America via Youtube or Twitter talking about World Book Night, but it wasn't until one December evening when I realised that it was a U.K event as well. As soon as I found out, I immediately signed myself up and in February, I received an e-mail saying that yes, I was going to be a Giver for World Book Night.
My top three choices.
In the sign up process, they give you three books to choose from the long list of books available for giving.
My top three choices were:
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. This has already been reviewed by fellow BB blogger Anjali and you can click here to see her fantastic review!
- Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. (Here's the link for my review!)
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
Like Anjali, I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go because of the amazing storyline, the interesting world created by the author and the way the book was written was very engaging and gripping. It is a brilliant start to a brilliant series and I seriously recommend it as well as Anjali. Whenever I got the e-mail saying that I was going to be giving copies of my first choice away, I was absolutely thrilled.
On Saturday 20th April, I went down to the Waterstones in Belfast to collect my free 20 books and the picture above shows the amazing new cover that was released especially for the night. On the inside of the book, the left page shows all of the other books that were available for giving. I thought this was a brilliant idea because it gives the recipient of the book a lot of choices on what to read next, especially if they are only new to reading. On the right page was a book plate which gave me the opportunity to fill in my name and where I collected it from. Below this gave links to the World Book Night's website where they could leave feedback if they wanted to.
World Book Night.
By the time World Book Night had arrived, I had already given out four books to friends and family. These people didn't really like to read but when I told them a bit more of what the book was about, they said they would give it a go. I had also given a book to a person I work with who was delighted to receive a new story. This now left me with fifteen books to give to strangers on the streets of Belfast.
As soon as I had finished my shift at work on Tuesday, I was on the train to Belfast with the books in my bag and five thousand butterflies in my stomach. Whilst on the train I had given three books away already. This had built up my confidence, especially after getting such a good response from a girl on the train. She was so delighted with a free book and told me that I had made her day. When I had entered the train station, my dad had told me that he had given four other books to people who work with him. I hadn't even left the station and already I had only eight books to give away.
Whilst on the main streets of Belfast, I was so surprised to find that there was barely a soul about. It was about six o'clock in the evening and all of the main shops had closed. Most of the people that I tried to give books to were in a hurry to get the bus or train home. I was fortunate to give a few books away to people sitting outside coffee shops and who seemed not to be in too much of a hurry.
Then I was victim to a lot of rejection. People had headphones on or they were talking on their phones so they didn't want to pay attention to a crazy girl trying to get them to take a free book. After a lot of running around, I met two lovely people who were so delighted with their books that they tried to give me something back in return! Someone who had overheard the conversation came up to me and said, "I would like a book too!" My last person who I gave a book away to was actually from America and she was travelling around Europe. She was thrilled with the idea of a new book to read on the plane. It makes me happy to think that a book that I have given is going to see all these interesting places! I was even more happy to see that I had given all the books away and I had fulfilled my mission to give out a book which is very close to my heart.
When all of the books were given out, I went to the Waterstones in Belfast as there was an event taking place there. I couldn't stay for too long but I did get the chance to take a few free books. Some of the books were books that had been given out last year as well as a few from this year.
From left to right the books which I got for free were:
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (World Book Night 2012)
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (World Book Night 2012)
- The Reader by Bernard Schlink (World Book Night 2013)
- Damage by Josephine Hart (World Book Night 2013)
If you have read any of these books, let me know! I'd love to hear what you thought of them.
To conclude, I thoroughly loved the World Book Night experience! I am so pleased that I managed to give out all of the books sent to me and it seems to me that the books I gave out are all going to well loved homes! I'd love to do it again next year but this time I'd make sure I would be giving them in an area where there would be more people about.
Thank you to World Book Night and to Patrick Ness for letting me share this amazing story with people. And thank you for reading this blog post!
This post was created by regular reviewer Lucy, get to know her here!
Photos taken by Lucy.