Sunday, 24 February 2013

World Book Night 2013

Today 20,000 readers are excited about April 23rd. They have been selected to give away a million books. Each will give out 20 of their selected title from a list of 20.

I'm lucky enough to have been selected for the third year and this year I'll be giving out The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry.

These books are for people who don't read, for people who can't easily get hold of books. If you are homeless, in a mental health unit, in a care home or in prison accessing books can be hard, so many books are distributed in such locations.

But it's not only about those who cannot access books. There are people who could, but don't. The National Literacy Trust claims that  a third of UK's children do not have books of their own. When I worked with children with speech and language problems, I discovered the grim reality of this for myself, and sadly, homes without books are on the increase. Children without books are likely to have parents without books and WBN aims to help rectify this.

In WBN's first year I gave away Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance, and last year Marcus Zusack's The Book Thief.  Some of my books went to Homeless in Action Barnet, some to North London Hospice and some to patients and staff at Chase Farm Hospital. Some were donated to Friern Barnet Community Library, the People's Library that is stocked with books donated by locals. If they don't already have a copy of The Secret Scripture, that will be the destination of one or two of my copies on April 23rd.


Joanna said...

I really can't imagine life without books.
World Book Night is a wonderful idea. Enjoy giving yours away, Lindsay. I am sure they could make all the difference to those who receive them. x

Patsy said...

I think this is a great idea. Homeless people and those who're seriously ill (mentally or physically) might well benefit from an escape into fiction.

Lindsay said...

Thanks, Patsy.

The warmest response I received for books was from the Homeless in Action which aims to help people who have been homeless to set up new homes. They were thrilled to have good quality new books. I'm also a great fan of InterAct the reading charity, where actors read stories and poems to people in hospital who have had strokes.

Unknown said...

Fantastic initiative!