The true university these days is a collection of books.
-Thomas Carlyle

Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night 2012

It is international World Book Night today and givers have been working hard to pass on the joy of reading.
1 million books have been passed out this year and the title that I chose was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. You may remember that I reviewed this novel back in 2008 and I thought that it was an unusual and emotional book that was not difficult to read but very absorbing with a good heart. I also wanted to pick a title that would appeal to men and women from its first impressions in order to get people interested enough to take a copy and give it a try.

All of my copies went to people in and around where I work and they were very excited to get into the book. I thought that these copies were very attractive and aroused interest immediately, which helped me find new homes for them.

I loved the reference to Shakespeare's birthday in the back of the copies too and the invitation to track your copy online as it goes from person to person was much better for being at the front of the book.

What I did notice this year, as opposed to last year, was how much quieter the media were on this event. I actually thought there would be more presence because it has now linked the event up with our friends across the Atlantic in the States making it an international event, but no, it has passed by much more quietly. I was looking forward to the bookish programs on TV that I enjoyed last year and the general buzz throughout the day, but other than a few things in Waterstones in Liverpool 1 I felt I was largely on my own today. Last year there seemed to be an advance awareness amongst the public but that seemed to be missing this year which was a shame.

I enjoyed giving out the books though and I know that those who received one were excited. Those who knew each other suggested catching up when they had all read it, which I loved. Talking about books, sharing opinions and ideas is just as important in encouraging reading I think, as well as being loads of fun. I love discussing books in common with friends and colleagues.

This is a worthwhile event, lots of fun for those involved, and I hope that it continues. I only wish that the media had got behind it in the same way as before. It is only once a year and other than Waterstones, where book buyers already go, it slipped quietly by.

If you were involved in WBN this year I hope you enjoyed your day as I did and if any of you got a new book then fantastic and all the more to talk about. There are some brilliant books out there and if WBN encourages more people to read something, talk about it, pass it on to share it, it can only be a good thing.

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