So, it’s been nearly two whole months since I released 24 copies of Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham into the wild as part of World Book Night 2012. This brilliant project aimed to distribute one million books (a selected list of 25 books) to those people who rarely read, or don’t have particularly good access to books in their community by using 20,000 volunteers – or Givers – on 23rd April. I was pleased to be chosen as a giver and to also be chosen to give my first choice of book; although there were several of the books I would’ve been happy to give, Sleepyhead is a particular favourite of mine, since I love a good mystery/crime novel!
So, how did I get on? I hear you ask… Not too bad all in all. I find it difficult to approach people, so although I did gladly volunteer as a Giver, it wasn’t until I’d marked up the books with their ID numbers that I realised that I would have to approach people and ask to give them a book which, to be blunt, contains several brutal murders. Hmmm. But anyway, the first copies were given away at my Son’s preschool to some of the lovely staff and some of the mums – although I did ambush one poor mum who already had too much to carry and shoved a book in her back before she could say no. Perhaps not the right approach.
Other copies went to some of Mr W’s colleagues, some of my friends who I know do not routinely read crime fiction and the final copies went to parents at our local toddler group, although there I did have a couple of refusals once I said it was a crime thriller.
Definitely my most bizarre ‘give’ was to the nice man behind the counter at the post depot. I was there, I had my books, I thought ‘Why Not?’ although despite accepting, he still looked a bit dubious!
So all in all a good experience and I’ll definitely volunteer again next year – if nothing else, it’s a great way to start a conversation with someone and it’s just brilliant to share a book that you’ve loved – as my friends will know I do like to tell people what to do!
To find out more about World Book Night in previous years and coming up, check out their website.