I had a little escape from foreign fiction yesterday. It was a glorious sunny day, and as well as it being Shakespeare's birthday and St George's Day it was also World Book Night. It's a special day where book-lovers try to share the joy of reading by giving away 500,000 free books at events across the country. Jackie (pictured above) and myself had signed up to give away copies of our chosen titles, The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry and The Island by Victoria Hislop.
We had arranged to meet Jen and Sue who were joining us to help outside Central Library, however we were too keen and arrived early. We started without them and soon realised how difficult it was to give away free books in Birmingham City Centre. People gave us really funny looks - it was like we were inflicting torture on them, or signing them up to a cult! Then our reinforcements arrived and it was all hands to the pumps, phew.
In the end we were giving away books for just over an hour and we ended up having lots of nice chats about books, libraries and reading. It was great to be able to give away books to people who weren't normally readers or to encourage readers who always read the same type of book to try something new. I convinced Jen to take a copy of The Island even though she would never normally pick up something described as a 'beach read.' I'm looking forward to finding out how she gets on with it! Overall it was a very worthwhile experience - and I'll definitely be signing up to be a book-giver again next year!