Tag Archives: World Book Night

World Book Night 2014

Today/tonight is World Book Night which has become one of my favourite nights of the year, yes along with such joys as Christmas, my Birthday and the second night on a long holiday (when you have gone past the first day and night of being knackered from travel and have all that blissful time ahead, I need a holiday abroad soon). Any venture that sends you out into the world, without putting yourself in danger, to give people copies of books is a marvellous thing and in the UK alone they are giving a million books away. Great stuff.

I have been thrilled to have been chosen again, I initially had a sulk thinking I hadn’t until I checked my spam mail, for the fourth year running. I have been very lucky so far giving away copies of some of my favourite books; Half of a Yellow Sun, Rebecca (which I also read from to lots of people that year) and The Reader (at the first night of Liverpool’s first literature festival which really should come back). This year I think I have topped them all, yes even Rebecca, as I am giving away the first in my favourite ever series of books which I read in my teens (and made me feel less alone) and have re-read and re-read since. Yes, I am giving away Tales of the City.

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Now as is tradition, because it means a lot to me, I am giving most of these away to the local cancer hospital where the staff, patients and their loved ones can have copies that hopefully might shine some light in a very difficult time and then be passed on to others again and again.

I am keeping some back though this year and, as a giver who just loves to go on giving, four of them are going to come into work with me tomorrow, two being left on the train in the morning on the way in and two on the way home, with a little note hopefully finding them some new temporary homes and fans who will pass them on again. I am also sorting through my own books to pass some on to people at work and leave more in the library I made in the communal hall a while back.

Who else is giving books away for World Book Night, which title have you got to give and how are you going to give it away? If you haven’t been a giver have you planned on passing some of your favourite books? Oh and just out of interest, if you could give away a million copies of just one book which would it be and why? Suggest a few and who knows I may pick some of you at random to send a bookish treat through the post!

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Celebrating the Bookshop…

I will be hosting an event this afternoon that is all about celebrating your bookshop. In gearing up for the event I was doing some research and I was shocked to discover that whilst we have a World Book Day, World Book Night, National Library Day (though my local library seemed to have no idea there was one) and the UK has Independent Booksellers Week. I am not dissing any of the other ventures, I love them all, but we don’t have a World Bookshop Day itself that everyone everywhere can join in with? Maybe that is a bit simple and simplistic minded of me? It just seems a little bit strange and I am left pondering why on earth not? Books and bookshops obviously need each other, only it always seems to be the book that gets the biggest support… what about the shop?

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Now if anyone suddenly announces there is one worldwide I will hold my hands up and apologise, because I googled and googled and googled to try and find one. To be fair Australia, a country that I think is imminently sensible in so many ways (not forgetting that it brought Kylie, Kath & Kim and Marieke Hardy), did throw a National Bookshop Day in August 2013 yet, so far at least, there doesn’t seem to be anything happening this year. As I mentioned there is, lucky us, an Independent Booksellers Week in the UK yet not everywhere else and I think it would be nice to unite it worldwide too, rather than just our own turf, and not just the indies though I know they are bloody important… all bookshops are under threat though aren’t they?

I love a good bookshop – I think this is quite obvious – be they a lovely independent, a dusty/musty second hand shop or even a high street store (and I think some of these need to be celebrated and supported too, I am in constant fear that any moment Waterstones will suddenly announce its being bought by Amazon and then the world might end) I find it very hard not to fall into them. I don’t always purchase masses of books but I try and buy at least one new and a couple of second hand books from bookshops every month. I love the atmosphere, which is always relaxed (though I heard that story about the madwoman who wanted people to pay to peruse in her bookshop) and you can wander and browse and just get lost in a world of book… just down your very road, well, almost if you are lucky.

You can guess what is coming can’t you? Yes, I think that we should start our own World Book Day and currently I have given it the oh-so original title ‘Celebrate The Bookshop’…

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I mean what will it cost (the constant fear of anything that sounds like an initiative or cause) really? One of the things that is so fantastic about book lovers is that they can’t shut up about books, hence the wonder of books successes just based on the word of mouth phenomena. All we need to do really is pick a day, later in the year (and I am wondering if I should get in touch with the team behind Australia’s National Bookshop Day last year and Independent Booksellers Week and see if we could all do it on the same day, this could be delusions of grandeur), and mention it to all our friends, print off posters and the like, I wish you could print off book marks, blog about it here there and everywhere and then on the day go to out to our local bookshop/s and buy a few books. Simple as that surely? It will be like a bookish revolution all through the simple magic of sharing the love and, as I said, spreading the word and supporting local bookshops everywhere.

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I have even been pondering a blog where people, everywhere, can write about their favourite local bookshops and make some sort of world wide book shop guide. You’d think I hadn’t just got a new job and had lots of other projects on the go would you. But hey I love books and they make me think and want to see about doing things like this.

So what do you think? Do you think it is sad that we don’t have a day that officially spreads the love of the physical bookshop (any variety) worldwide? Do you think we should have one? Who is in with me to try and make one happen and if so what could we do next? I think we need some patrons and I can think of three who I might ask, any you would suggest though?  I am off to do more brainstorming, emailing, and hosting the event on it… I wonder what the audience there will make of the idea? If you have any additional thoughts or ideas you can email savidgereads@gmail.com too. I will report back with everyone’s thoughts and updates very soon.

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World Book Night & Liverpool Literature Festival – Reminder #1

So tomorrow is, of course, World Book Night and lucky old Liverpool as we have the flagship events all happening up here! I am ever so excited about the event, well ever so excited might actually be a small understatement. With talks from Jeanette Winterson, Jasper Fforde, Jackie Kay, Patrick Ness, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Philippa Gregory (who I am hoping to grill briefly when I can for a special episode of The Readers) in the offing, book swapping and giving plus a literary themed cafe and much more! I think it is going to be my perfect kind of evening, books, book chat and book based food, what more could I ask for and what a perfect way to start Liverpool Literature Festival ‘In Other Words’…

Speaking of the festival I thought I would do a slightly shameless reminder *coughs* or two about two very exciting events that I have lined up in the first week of the festival just in case you fancied coming along (and it would be sooooooo lovely if you did).

First up on Wednesday I will be talking to one of my biggest currently literary crushes Keith Ridgway, whose novel ‘Hawthorn & Child’ was one of my favourites of last year and whose wonderful ‘The Long Falling’ I will be telling you about later, and also Ben Marcus who I am revelling in at the moment. Both authors have done something very different with their latest works and so the night is aptly called ‘Novel Approaches’. It is going to be super.

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I have also been baking like I have never baked before for Sunday afternoon, as I will be hosting an afternoon tea with John Whaite, the winner of the Great British Bake Off last year, at the Liverpool Town Hall – with the Mayor, well one of them, we  greedily have two here as we do Cathedrals. His (absolutely stunning) cook book comes out this week and so I have been trying lots of the recipes in advance, though because the book is so beautiful I have been having to walk from kitchen to mess free zone to keep the book spotless.

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So hopefully I might see some of you in attendance?!? I myself, apart from the World Book Night evening of delight, am planning on going to a talk on Thursday in the depths of the Williamson Tunnels (a must opportunity for anyone who loves the Victorian era and likes to be spooked) for a night celebrating the life and works of James Herbert with a host of horror writers as sadly James was due to host this event himself. I also have plans to go and see Roger McGough and Brian Pattern (who wrote my favourite collection of poems ever, ‘Gargling With Jelly’) on Friday night – phew! I may relax on Saturday though, as next week is even more bonkers, yet there is a book swap going on at Metal Library which I might not be able to resist!

So that is my social calendar sorted for the week, what about you? Will any of you be at any of these events in Liverpool (and have a look at all the listings here IOW Listing Brochure 22-3) over the week, as I would love to say hello if so. What are your plans for World Book Night be you a giver or not, anything special planned?

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What Were You Doing On World Book Night?

Sorry for a belated World Book Night post, I meant to post last night but I was rather shattered after the wonderful event that Waterstones Deansgate, in the heart of Manchester, put on last night. It was a night of book readings and book swapping… And quite a lot of booze!

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This was all good with me as I needed some Dutch courage before I got up as the sixth person to read, naturally I was reading from Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ which I was giving some copies of away. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous. I’m glad I did it though.

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I also ended up getting my hands on a book myself. I loved Roald Dahl as a child but interestingly I have never read his adult novels or short stories, and now I will.

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So what did you get up to?

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Books By The Bedside #2

I meant to blog all weekend I really did, alas I just got to busy with other fun stuff. As I had intended to post something about what we are all reading at the moment I thought that I would back date a post, that’s allowed isn’t it? So here we have the return of ‘Books By The Bedside’, a peripheral view of what I am reading at the moment and planning on reading very soon, also a series I planned to make more regular, whoops!

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At the moment my main read, and book of contention if I am being honest, is ‘Mary Barton’ by Elizabeth Gaskell. Yes, I am still reading it. It’s a bit like wading through treacle (we’ve all been there). Despite a murder happening, which I thought might spice it up a bit, Mary has almost instantly worked out who it is so now we know. If it wasn’t the first choice for ‘Manchester Book Club’ I would have given up by now. But, like the characters in the book actually, I have the grim determination to see it through to the end against all obstacles… Like boredom. Shall we move on?

I am combating the above book with a favourite thanks to pure timing. Monday is World Book Night and not only will I be giving away copies of ‘Rebecca’ I will also be reading it at an event at Waterstones Deansgate from 6.30pm. I’ve been dipping into Daphers for some favourite sections! I do bloody love this book.

The two books I am planning to read are ‘Home’ the latest Toni Morrison novel, which will also be my first foray into her work, for a review in We Love This Book, I am intrigued to see how great she is. I know lots of people who love her work. It’s fairly short but I am hoping packs a punch. I will then be reading ‘The Last Werewolf’ by Glen Duncan, described by one of my favourite book lovers Marieke Hardy as a ‘very silly book’ and a ‘cock forest’. It’s also the first of The Readers Summer Book Club choices so I best crack on.

It’s rather a small pile of books for me I admit, but at the moment I am splitting my weeks between Manchester and Liverpool (more on the lovely reason for this soon), so only so many books I can lug about.

Anyway… Which books are you reading and keen to read? Have you read any of the above, or other works by the authors? Do let me know as always.

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Simon’s Bookish Bits #31

Though it’s all still a bit shiny and new on Savidge Reads 3.0, I didn’t want to get rid of all the old features and so, as a special little treat today, I thought I would dust off my ‘bookish bits’ and bring them out for an airing. If you are new to the site this is a feature I would do occasionally, read as totally randomly, when I had a few bits and bobs that I wanted to talk about and yet didn’t really warrant/deserve their own post all to themselves. So what bookish bits and bobs do I have for you today?

Well first up is the joyous news that I have my World Book Night (which seemed ages away and now is suddenly upon us next Monday) books. The thrill of being able to pass on books is always one I love, but when you are giving lots and lots of your favourite EVER book away it takes it to a whole new level. Yes, that’s right; I am giving away Rebecca by good old Daphers.

That isn’t all I am doing. On World Book Night itself I will be part of a big event at Waterstones Deansgate in the heart of Manchester where I will be reading ‘Rebecca’ to any poor passing soul lucky person who pops in. I am alongside some great local authors such as Sam Mills, Rodge Glass, Chris Killen, Joe Stretch, Socrates Adams and many more. Do come along, details below, apologies it’s a little grainy but it’s a picture from the tinterweb.

Oh and speaking of World Book Night, if you are giving books away (wherever in the world you may be) and would like to record an mp3 about the title you have chosen and how you are giving it away we are doing a special episode of The Readers next week so email them to bookbasedbanter@gmail.com or you can now leave a voicemail by calling ‘bookbasedbanter’ on Skype. So techno!

In other news I am having a major book sulk. I feel a bit bad doing this (sorry Lucy) but I am reading ‘Mary Barton’ by Elizabeth Gaskell for The Manchester Book Club and I am really, really struggling. I am almost halfway (Lucy text me and said ‘it gets better after about 250 pages’, 250 pages!!!) So I was wondering if any of you had any tips on getting through it, and could at least agree with Lucy and say that yes, indeed it does get better. I like the story, though it’s like every other story of its time in the mid 1800’s to be honest, but all the politics and the trade unions rubbish is getting me down. There is about to be a murder though and you know how I like those, so maybe things will pick up and the book will get some pace. Is this just not her finest work? Or are all Gaskell’s books this bogged down in death and misery and too much intricate detail (something I never normally complain about)?

Finally, do you know of any good second hand book shops in Liverpool, the Wirral and around that sort of area? I am off there all weekend (rumours I am moving to Liverpool can neither be confirmed or denied) this weekend and would like to find some. I did discover the wonderful Reid of Liverpool as you can see here, but more would be a jolly lovely find, the centre of town would be lovely but so would the outskirts and further afield, so if you know of any let me know! Lovely!

Right that is all from me today, I will play comment catch up tomorrow I promise (rude of me to have not done sooner). What is going on in your bookish worlds? Don’t tell me what you are reading right now, I want to hear all about that on Saturday!

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World Book Night 2012…

I was going to give the blog a day off but then I received an email about all this so thought that I would pass some of it on. I know that actually World Book Night is months and months away (April 23rd 2012 in fact) so some of you might not be interested but an email this morning reminded me about it and the fact that you can vote for your favourite books to be given away. I was also a bit over excited when I read this specific email as previous givers, and you can see what I gave away and how I did it earlier this year, two people could win a chance to be on the World Book Night Editorial Selection Committee (theres a mouthful), well of course how could I not want to do that?

So what did you have to do? Well, give them your details, tell them what you gave last year and name the “top 10 books you most love to read, give and share for 2012” now initially I thought  they meant books out in 2012 then twigged they just meant your favourites. You then had to write, in 100 words or less, an impassioned argument for your number one book. I did it in ninety-nine.  

I liked the idea of this list of ten books you would want to pass on and realised that not all my very favourite books would pass the test of being books I would avidly pass on, those tend to be books I have liked a lot but not enough to keep on my own shelves, this however is the list of ten books I would happily buy other people and pass them on in that way… 

  1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  3. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
  4. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
  5. Perfume by Patrick Suskind
  6. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
  7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  8. Annabel by Kathleen Winter
  9. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  10. The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

I couldn’t choose ‘One Day’ (which I am desperately telling the Aunty Who Doesn’t Read So Much to read before she sees the film next week, will she listen…) or indeed ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ because both books were in the list last year and given away. I like the idea of some classics being given away in 2012, some corkers though, not necessarily the same old ones. You can guess which books I might mean but I will never tell, ha.

I am pretty sure that I won’t be picked as one of the World Book Night Editorial Selection Committee, though if it did happen I would just be over the moon, partly because I have blabbed about it on here. It gave me a think about books though, and a chance to give you all a list of books to try should you have not read them so far. You can find more out about World Book Night 2012 here. What would your ten be? What are your thoughts on the whole World Book Night idea?

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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!

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World Book Night Begins…

…Well mine was actually more of a World Book Afternoon as I gave away 46 of 48 copies of my chosen title, which also happens to be one of my favourites! I can reveal it was…

‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. How did I do it and why did I save two… You’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out!

In the meantime I wondered what you are doing tonight?

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Persephone Weekend, My Life in Books & World Book Night

I thought I would do a little bookish round up post (I say little but I never quite manage to keep posts that brief, I will try) today of some of the latest bookish things that have been preoccupying my mind when health and hospitals haven’t. I could ramble on but I shall not and instead just get on with the three bookish things that I wanted to point you in the direction of instead…

First up is ‘Persephone Reading Weekend’ which starts today and runs until the 27th. In what is becoming an annual book bloggers delight in celebration of those lovely grey covered wonders the lovely Claire of Paperback Reader and Verity of Cardigan Girl Verity blogs are running a weekend of reviews and competitions all in celebration of Persephone Classics. If you haven’t read one yet then this could be the ideal time to get into some or won some so do have a gander. I have dug out a Persephone (I have noticed I only really have ones with the colourful covers, I wonder why that is) which I have almost finished and am hoping to put my thoughts up on that and join in all the fun on Sunday.

Here in the UK the wonderful (and I do genuinely love them at the moment with all this and ‘South Riding’) BBC are starting what is going to be a special year of TV shows about books. You may remember that I mentioned ‘Faulks on Fiction’ the other week, its proving interesting with a wonderful list of books I now need to read yet at the same time its also rather pretentious which is a shame as I like Faulks. I digressed. The new show this week has been ‘My Life in Books’ which sees Anne Robinson interviewing a whole host of well known faces (I don’t want to say celebrities) talking about their five favourite books which have meant a lot to them at different times in their lives. I am LOVING IT. So far my favourite guests have been P.D James (for her love of Sherlock), Clare Balding (for choosing some sentimental rogue novels along side Greek myths) and most of all Sue Perkins who just made me want to read every single one of her recommendations and in particular ‘The Queen of Whale Cay’ by Kate Summerscale (of ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’ fame) if you can watch it on iPlayer then do, if not I believe its on YouTube too.

Finally it’s just over a week until ‘World Book Night’. I have been selected to give 50 copies of my choice away, I will reveal which one it is over the next week or so, and I am a little stuck on how to do it. I had hoped to get a local bookstore involved but they don’t seem too keen, I wont be in hospital (well I hope not) though if I was that would be sooooo much easier, so I am a little stuck on what to do. Any ideas? What’s going on with you at the moment be it bookish or otherwise?

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