World Book Night is an international event held on 23rd April. I heard about it this time, last year while watching a video by booktuber booksandquills. Now I’d heard of World Book Day and remember the £1 books that we could get in school with our voucher when I was a child but never heard of World Book Night. So, World Book Night is when a volunteer is given 18 copies of a book and then must do their best to hand them out to people who don’t normally read. You may leave the books in places if you like to too to see if passers-by pick it up.
In about November last year I applied to be a volunteer and found out I was successful in late February. I was to give away copies of Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell. It’s a book that I haven’t read but I loved the sound of it from the synopsis so was looking forward to handing it out around my University and the surrounding area.
As a University student I haven’t done a lot of reading for fun during term time over the past four years and I love to read. I can’t really imagine being someone who doesn’t read but the statistics say that it is people aged between 16-24 and young people in general who don’t read a lot at all.
So once I picked up my rather large box of books from my local Waterstones, it was time to plan how I was going to do this. I wrapped each book with some ribbon and a tag saying “Happy World Book Night! Pick me up I’m free!” and placed a posit note on the first page of each book with my twitter handle so if someone did pick up one of the books I left in lecturer rooms or around town, then there was the thought that if they wanted they could drop me a tweet and say hi.
I’d say that people were first confused but then happy when I asked if they’d like a book. I handed out half the books to people in person, and mainly around my university as I know from a fact that university students have that much time to read for fun. I also left copies around my university, in the library, in the bar and at the bus stop in the middle of campus. It was a great feeling walking past a spot where I’d left a book an hour before and finding it empty. I also went into town with some of my friends and offered books to people in shops and the street.
I was a bit nervous about going up to strangers to offer them books to start with but by the time I’d handed out all 18 copies I was more confident and really enjoyed it. It was great talking to people about books and explaining about World Book Night and I’m definitely going to apply to be a World Book Night Giver next year.
I hope all that took part in World Book Night, whether they were a Giver or they received a book, had a great time and are busy reading!