Saturday 5 February 2011

World Book Night - 5th March

You read a book, you love it, you tell your friends about it, you lend it to them. You want everyone to read it. But how often do you get the opportunity to give away 48 copies of that book?

On World Book Night, 20,000 book-lovers will be doing just that. Each has selected a book from 25 titles, and will be giving away four dozen of their chosen book - to anybody they please. The aim is to encourage reading, so giving books to people who may not be great readers or have ready access to books is an important aspect of the project. An additional 40,000 books will be delivered by WBN to places such as prisons or hospitals, bringing the total to a million books for distribution.


I've been selected as a 'giver-away', and will be handing out copies of Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance. Set in India of the mid 70s against a turbulent political backdrop, it charts the lives of four people who come together in circumstances none of them could have foreseen. It shows how unlikely bonds and friendships can be formed across cultures. It especially resonates with me as I spent two exciting and stimulating months in India in 1974 as a young overlander (before the word back-packing was invented - before guide books, Internet cafes and texting home on a daily basis).

I'm thinking hard about the possible recipients of my book and will be registering some copies with BookCroosing. Like my 1974 journey, some of my chosen books will be sent on journeys of their own and will, I hope, be caught by people I don't know, read, enjoyed and passed on.