Tuesday, March 01, 2011

48 copies of The Curious Incident ... to give away this weekend on World Book Night

Thursday is World Book Day, and many school children will be issued with £1 voushers that can be used to purchase specially printed and discounted books in local bookstores.

World Book Night banner

And on Saturday the UK and Ireland are celebrating World Book Night. Publishers, booksellers, libraries and broadcasters have teamed up to print 40,000 copies of 25 different titles, and 20,000 people are poised to give away 48 copies of their favourite book from the list.

I picked up my box of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on the way home from work, and will be handing them out in the Lisburn area over the weekend - hopefully to people who aren't in the habit of reading, or I reckon would particularly enjoy the great story by Mark Haddon.

Photo of a box containing 48 copies of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - World Book Night

Despite 25 titles to choose from, The Curious Incident felt like the best choice. Accessible, practical, fun ... and not too long (or heavy).

When signing for the books I noticed that I was the only one out of the 30 or more people around Lisburn on the pick-up list who had made that choice. In fact, most had settled for a small cluster of books: Seamus Heaney's New Selected Poems and John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold seemed to be the most popular, and I was surprised that only one person had chosen Yann Martel's Life of Pi.

So if you see me with giving stuff away around Lisburn at the weekend, stop and say hello. You might even get a book! And if you tune into BBC Two on Saturday night, you'll find an evening of bookish entertainment starting at 7.30pm. In an age when cuts mean that libraries are closing, putting books into people's hands seems like a great idea.

Update: The John Hewitt Society and Belfast City Council are running World Book Day celebrations in the Waterfront Hall on Saturday.

World Book Day celebrations in Belfast

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