Wednesday, 17 October 2012

World Book Night Seen Through A Blur.

I forgot that September happened - admittedly, it wasn't a very exciting month and not much happened. And if it did, I've already forgotten. But I promised Viviane and Pat to blog about World Book Night which happened years ago on April 23, Bill Shakespear's birthday.

I'd heard about it on Steve Wright's show (although it could have been Simon Mayo - the radio programmes seem to run into each other when you're having fun) when Andrea Levy came in to talk about her book 'Small Island' which was one of the many books that got distributed on WBN 2012.

What happens?

Well, if you're interested, you sign up and register to be a giver of books. You see the list of books that are going to be given away that year and if you are successful, receive 24 copies of the book that you'd like to give away to people who don't read much. A bit like God-bothering, really, only harder. Guessing who doesn't and who does read is not that easy in many places but in Crewe it is a cross between the two. When I tried to entice people I would either get a confused reply "Polish" or "I have a Kindle." Show-offs who do not appreciate the workmanship that goes into creating a book. I've never understood how people can dismiss that lovely feeling of turning over a page with preference to scrolling down.

Anyway, still feeling pretty new to the country I decided to settle for a pub - the Belgian pub, 'Hops' and distribute my books from there over a beer or too many. I managed to slur my way through the evening and wasn't really aware of who I gave books to in the end. I just remember that the 24th book went to the lovely man in the kebab shop near home as we stopped to pick up some chips to soak up some of the alcohol.

He really appeared to appreciate the book but that was seen through beer goggles.

His chips were bloody good though.


Sigivald said...

I've never understood how people can dismiss that lovely feeling of turning over a page with preference to scrolling down.

A) Kindles page rather than scroll, so it's more book-like in that respect.

B) I dismiss it by looking at my over-stuffed library and happily not wanting to ever purchase another physical book, that isn't an art book.

(also, C) unlimited free public-domain books from before 1932 or so. Like the Dover PD books, but even cheaper, and instant.)

Zoe said...

Sigivald, in response to A: I actually meant that physical action of turning over a page. To me, a Kindle is ideal for travellers. I just cannot understand how people, such as yourself, it appears, cannot miss that lovely smell of a new book. Call me old-fashioned - but there is so much to a book than.....just a book. The thought process of the layout, the cover, the size - it's an art.

Kindle versus book: preference.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Was there anyone pretending that he / she doesn't read, just to get a free book?

I must say, I prefer books. But, as a wanna-be author, I will try selling via Kindle.

Anji said...

I prefer books too, but I have put a Kindle in my letter to Santa Claus.

It's good to see the serousness with which you treat literature.

Anonymous, too said...

And what was this literature you were giving away? "My New Boyfriend is Also a Twat"? "Heaving Bosoms in Crewe"? "The Subtle Moods of Herman"?

As for me, a Kindle or similar device is just an expensive toy I'd likely drop and break or otherwise hurry to an untimely demise.

Besides, books just make more sense: in large groupings, they look better, smell better, provide better sound dampening, and provide better thermal insulation than the same number of Kindles, iPads, Nooks, Surfaces, etc. There is no need to deal with wires, charging devices &/or batteries. And, a damaged book can be recycled by burning it as fuel (say, to toast marshmallows at a campfire) or by composting it!

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