World Book Night 2011…

Well it’s been and gone but I want to say a big thanks to the people who organised World Book Night. There have been some that pooh-poohed the idea and questions over the titles but do you know what, it was giving away a million books to people all over the place from all walks of life in all sorts of ways. Oh and it was for free… well apart from the time, energy and passion from everyone that was involved. I have to say when I signed up for it all I never thought I would be one of the 20,000 people who would be picked – and then I was. So what did I do? Well I ended up giving them to a cause that means a lot to me, especially at the moment, but let’s start at the beginning first.

Well initially I panicked. Having moved and everything else that has been going on despite all the emails and buzz ‘World Book Night’ was suddenly a week away and I was thinking ‘uh-oh, will I be able to do it with hospital dates and recovery times?’ Well, even though it was a little last minute I was down at the library to collect my loot rather early yesterday morning…

Then after getting the boxes all the way back home, which with the title I chose was a bit of an effort as its heavy and there were 48 of them – thank goodness for my little helpers (you know who you are) I couldn’t wait to open them, so I swiftly did…

And then the real work began as not only did I have to give all of the books their serial numbers (so they can be logged on their travels) but I wanted to pop a little message inside every single one I gave out. So a mini signing took place, I never thought I would sign books and yet I quite liked it bar the eventual arm ache as I signed…

…And signed…

Before long all of them were done and I took all my Half A Yellow Sun’s to their first destination, I say first as I am hoping whomever gets them will pass them on to others. I love the idea of people reading them, loving them and handing them on. That’s the whole point of the event I think, well that and getting books to a wide range of readers and my drop off point will provide just that. Sp how did I choose it? Well I wanted somewhere that had a mixture of people, meant something to me and would get a diverse audience of readers. I was going to do an independent cinema and give them out all night, and then a friend said ‘isn’t that preaching to the converted and shouldn’t you do something a little more personal to you?’ which was completely right. So in the end I chose…

The Christie is an NHS Foundation Trust that specialises in cancer. Not only is it the biggest hospital of its kind in the UK and Europe, its also one of the biggest research centres for cancer. People from all over the country end up there for all sorts of treatments and trials (which are incredibly important) and the staff work incredibly hard there. So I thought that the patients, the staff and the volunteers and the onsite library could do with some new books to be shared and enjoyed and as it’s a place that means a lot to me personally at the moment, so it had to be there – I couldn’t take any photos inside but people were very grateful and I came away feeling very fulfilled and like I had really given people a boost, which gave me a boost and gave people books. I think it was a great success and look forward to seeing what could be possible next year.

So that was my choice and my day but I was, as ever, thinking of you at the same time and so I have held back three copies for you – I said two yesterday but I have found one I missed. I have seen some bloggers are giving their readers much more (go and visit Kimbofo and Dovegreyreader for theirs – I’ll add more links if I find any other giveaways) copies than me. I’m not being tight its just the hospital was huge and I wanted to give them as many as I could. The giveaway is open world wide, you just need to let me know what title you would give away if you could give 48 copies of any book to random strangers and why? Good luck, you have until 9am GMT tomorrow!


Filed under Book Thoughts

20 responses to “World Book Night 2011…

  1. I would like to give away Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. Thanks for thinking of the readers. Your first choice for distributing the books is really good.

  2. What a lovely post! It is so nice to see you giving books away in a hospital – anything that makes time spent in a hopspital more enjoyable has to be a great thing. Great job 🙂

  3. What a great idea to give away at a hospital! I’m sure that the days of staff, patients and visitors were cheered no end.

    I would love a copy of Half of a Yellow Sun… The book I would give away in bulk would be The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – it’s the second (and I think, better) Flavia de Luce mystery. Flavia is such a fantastic character and everyone likes a bit of English old world charm!

  4. Great post….I would give away This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson for the simple fact that it is a brilliant, enjoyable read.

  5. What a wonderful idea to distribute books in a hospital! 😀 Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to have a copy of Half of a Yellow Sun.

    If I could give 48 copies of any book to random strangers, it would be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters since it’s my favourite book.

  6. Emma

    What a great place to give away the books! If I had the choice I would give away copies of Matilda by Roald Dahl because it is one of my favourite books still – Quentin Blakes brilliant illustrations add so much to Dahl’s witty and absorbing text. Plus I have been trying to move things with my eyes ever since reading it – it hasn’t worked yet, but there is still time…

  7. What a great place to release, I wild released some of copies of The Blind Assassin in Chelmsford and will be releasing some in local schools for the staff.
    I have a giveaway over at my bookcrossing for 2 copies.

  8. WBN is so so so so cool. I know I said “so” a ridiculous amount of times, but still. I would love to be able to participate. I think one of the best things about it is how it makes YOU feel. Yes, of course, I am sure people were excited, surprised, happy, etc., but what a joy to give away a book you love.

    No need to enter me into the contest, I just wanted to say I am so glad you got to participate. What an honor. If it were me, I would be so torn. What to give away? I would most likely choose a book I think hasn’t been given enough coverage that I love: either Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison or The Known World by Jones or … oh my goodness, what a difficult decision!

  9. What a sweet place to pick to give the titles away! Good for you for giving so of yourself. Wishing you all the best!

  10. I thought of you and your blog while I watched a snipped of world book night, I must say it is extremely lovely of you to give away so many books in aid of such a good cause.

    I think I would give away a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, because no other book has made me passionate about life and enjoying the journey not living for the end.

  11. Great idea, Simon, well done you.

  12. What a great place to give away the books. What with lots of people reading it in one place simulataneously you might even start one massive book group! Brilliant to see the pictures too – you’ve cheered up my Monday.

  13. Bravo to you Simon! What a great place to give away books – people definitely need something good to read so they can escape from their problems for a bit (especially at a hospital). I would give away copies of A Confederacy of Dunces, because it literally makes you laugh out loud at the ridiculousness that is Ignatius Riley – and who doesn’t need a good laugh when they are in the hospital, right? Take care, Simon!!

  14. Jen

    I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Simon! I would choose Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I love his writing.

  15. Sophie Mitchell

    Oh no, I think I missed your deadline, but just in case — I would give away copies of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s one of the most perfect books ever.

    Sounds like you had an amazing time being a book giver, I’m really rather jealous as I forgot to sign up in time!

  16. I think this is the best place/way to give books I’ve come across yet – by a long way. You’ve really inspired me:)

  17. Bet

    I realize I am too late for the draw, but I hadn’t planned to enter anyway. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Half a Yellow Sun and I think you made a wonderful choice– in the book, and in where you chose to give it away.


  18. Awesome job and inspiring. Good for you!

  19. Thank you all for your comments, I will be doing the draw later today – I have been a bit slack with it so I do apologise.

  20. Pingback: World Book Night 2012… |

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