Saturday, 5 March 2011

WHAT DID YOU DO FOR BOOKS THIS WEEK? SHOUT IT HERE!

Judging from the response on Twitter under #worldbooknight, and in private messages throughout this week, many people have joined my simple, positive contribution to WBN, which seeks to benefit all parts of the book chain: authors, publishers and agents, bookshops and readers, in a non-prescriptive, cost-effective, all-inclusive, generous way. Amazingly, I ended up being invited to talk about this on Newsnight - though that piece was so strangely edited that in fact you missed a) what they had assured me they'd leave in (my very positive feelings about WBN) and b) the thing they'd actually asked me to speak about - the complementary World Book Night idea. (Not "alternative, as people keep saying. I have never once suggested people shouldn't do both.)

Over the last few days, I've had a lot of well-known writers and many booksellers contacting me and agreeing that this simple idea of buying and giving a book would have been a wonderful format for WBN, a format which no one could have disagreed with. And a lot of them have expressed the hope that it might be an official part of WBN next year. That would be fantastic, but not in my hands.

But today I want simply to ask you: if you did go for my suggestion, what book did you buy and who did you give it to or who are you going to give it to? Please pass this question round and ask everyone to come here and say what they did.You may have some amusing or inspiring stories of what happened when you gave your book - tell us!

And, on behalf of everyone who wants the book trade to be healthy and who cares about authors and our ability to keep writing, thank you to all those who bought a book in the spirit of World Book Night 2011. Every little bit helps and what you did helped writers and readers, and everyone else in that chain. Thank you!

38 comments:

M.A.Leslie said...

I bought Crank by Ellen Hopkins and gave it to my 17 year old sister-in-law.

M.A.Leslie said...

Only a year ago this so called cool girl thought people who read were dorky, geeky, etc. And, now between my wife and myself, we have turned her into a reader.

It was quite funny to recollect the child that refused to read and see the young woman curled up on a chair in our living room attacking the pages of her newest book. 1 down millions to go right?

Queenie said...

I think your idea is terrific, and really hope it's adopted as a formal part of WBN in future. Sadly, I'm just not in a position to do it this year, as my work has dried up due to the spending cuts and I'm now living on rapidly-dwindling savings. Plus it's a 32-mile round trip to my nearest indie bookshop which would add a fiver to the cost. But I will be giving away copies of The World's Wife in a town centre pub tonight, trying to reach people who either don't read or don't read poetry, and encouraging them to give it a go. And I have always given more books than anything else as Xmas/birthday gifts, and will continue to do so as far as I am able.

Nicola Morgan said...

Queeni - thank you - that's great! And MA Leslie, too.

By the way, I ordered Vivian French's Robe of Skulls, which I'm going to give to a random stranger (watch out!) and also the Pink Pyjama Party, which I'm going to give a child I know who is a bit of a reluctant reader but I think she will love this. I am also going to phone The Edinburgh Bookshop (where I ordered them) and ask for a copy of Room by Emma Donoghue, which I've just read avidly. I haven't decided who to give it to yet but I will do it next week, when I'm going to be meeting loads of readers.

WriterMelS said...

I bought a copy of Katie Fforde's Love Letters for a friend of mine who loves women's fiction. We met for lunch yesterday and as I explained your idea, I watched her face light up when I handed her the book. Made my day too :)

Sarah Callejo said...

I bought a Spanish copy of the first Peter James for my husband and ordered a Spanish copy of Sophia's Secret by Susanna Kearsley for a friend from my local bookshop. I also sent a friend a kindle copy of Please Don't Stop the Music by Jane Lovering to another friend from amazon.

Mike Jarman said...

Nicola, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in your complementary World Book Night already. Yes, I have cheated a little by already giving a book away, but only because I wouldn't see the recipient today.
I have dropped into Holman's book shop and bought Joanne Harris's Gentlemen and Players and gave it to one of my girls in our office (She was delighted). Her daughter is also passionate about books and went to school yesterday dressed as her favourite book character (a horse fairy).
My second book, Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader is going to my good friend who, much to my annoyance, hardly ever reads for pleasure. I thought this book would gently dig him in the ribs!

swanscot said...

I bought a copy of a Jacqueline Wilson book to give to a young girl who I tutor. We're currently working on a Flat Stanley project and when we made our flat people we gave them all different names. Flat Jackie went to a friend in Canada, and the host family decided Flat Jackie was named after a Scottish writer and found Jacqueline Wilson. My young pupil hasn't read any of her books, so I thought I'd let her try one.

womagwriter said...

I am going to give a copy of the charity anthology Diamonds and Pearls to a friend who is visiting this afternoon. The book is sold in aid of a breast cancer charity. I'm hoping she'll then tell her friends about it and they'll buy copies too, so everyone's a winner!

Nicola Morgan said...

Kath's comment went on the wrong post:

"Count me in! It's such a great idea. I've bought Twenty Thousand Saints by Fflur Dafydd. I'd buy one for everyone if I could but I'm looking forward to finding it a great home."

Kath said...

Oops, sorry about that, Nicola! (I'm blaming that on the fuzzy head cold.)

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I bought a copy of Meindert DeJong's 'House of Sixty Fathers' - I first read this and loved it when I was about 7 or 8. I've never forgotten the power of the words, and am reading one scene this evening at a WBN celebration at Jubilee Library Brighton. I will look for a likely candidate at the library to hand it on to - get em young, I say.

Catt said...

I bought Aesop's Fables, a classic which is an absoolute fav, and I've sent it to a really good friend of mine. I hope he will enjoy it as much as I do. Posted it 2nd class recorded yday so he won't have it by today but should do early next week. :)

Lucy Coats said...

Here's what I did. There's a tossed coin (a la Wasted) and a Surreal Encounter! http://scribblecitycentral.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-complementary-world-book-night.html

Jan Jones said...

and I sent Catt (see comment above) proxy shopping for a book for herself!

Simon Whaley said...

I bought Phil Rickman's 'The Remains of an Altar' because not only is it set in the local area, but the author also thanks the owner of the independent bookshop in the novel's credits, for her help with his research. I dedicated it and then gave it to an unsuspecting woman who walked into the bookshop.

Have posted about it on my blog at: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/2011/03/our-world-book-night/

Great idea!

Rebecca Emin said...

I have ordered The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl from The Big Green Bookshop's website both to support them and to give to someone - possibly the school library.

Also I had a chat with the children at a school on Friday and I left 5 books with them for their 'book swap' including 'The Green King' by Stephanie Parker, and 'Shambelurkling and Other Stories' which I have 2 short stories in. The children were delighted.

Nicola Morgan said...

Kath - I have that cold!

Everyone, thanks so much - some great stories. Lucy and Simon, thanks for blogging about your efforts and i must say that seeing those handwritten "Given in the spirit of..." dedications in your photos brought a bit of a heart-tug. This is a good thing we're all doing, and no one loses.

Effie said...

This morning I bought four books from the Hartlepool branch of WHSmiths. They do not have an independant book shop in Hartlepool and this particular store is under threat of closure.
I bought two copies of Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog (one for me!) Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka and another title by Kate Atkinson which is in my suitcase - I intend to give it to my husband when I arrive home after working away for a week.
I gave Two Caravans to a two ladies in Hartlepool town centre and they graciously accepted it and said thank you with big smiles. I don't which one will read it - maybe both.
Then as planned earlier in the week, I intended to give one away on the platform of Newcastle train station. What happened next is superbly written in Lucy's blog above.

This fantastic idea will grow year on year and this is just the beginning. But for me, it will take some beating.
Fabulous idea Nicola!

Apple Ardent Scott said...

I bought Maximum Ride (the second book) and gave it to my daughter. She and her friends exchange and read each others' books.

Roisin McAuley said...

I bought A Poet's Guide to Britain and gave it to a surprised and delighted mother and daughter - both strangers - in Reading town centre. It was such a pleasure, 'm going to buy and give away another book before the shops close.

BucksWriter said...

I bought a copy of Diana Athill's 'Somewhere towards the end' from the at risk Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green and gave it away on Twitter.

Janet O'Kane said...

I bought 'On the Beach' by Neville Shute from the small-but-perfectly-formed Crossing the Bar bookshop in the Scottish Borders' only seaside town, Eyemouth. I gave it to my hairdresser's 17-year-old daughter Alex, whose mum is so pleased that she likes to reads but doesn't know where she gets it from.

Elizabeth Baines said...

I bought a copy of a book I really love, Sebastian Barry's The Whereabouts of Seamus McNulty from Mortens independent bookshop in Didsbury, and gave it to a friend who didn't know of it, but who I think will like it too.

catdownunder said...

I bought Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton and read it to a group of very special children and then gave it to their very special school. They only have a tiny library so contributions are gratefully received. The story is simple enough for most of them to understand it - and think it is funny. Nice thing was I could do it on Saturday morning because there was a parent meeting and I helped to keep the children amused while it was going on!
I really hope your idea gets up next year here Downunder as well!

Catt said...

Nicola, Kath, I fear that's the cold I only recently got rid of!

Yes, with many thanks to Jan I now own Bukowski's the night torn with mad footsteps'

Pam Reader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam Reader said...

I bought four books to give away. The first was Room by Emma Donoghue for Helen, who has borrowed my copy once and then I had to ask for it back twice, once to get it signed by the author and then again for a book club meeting.
The second was Angelology by Danielle Trussoni for Nina. I know she likes fantasy and horror, so thought she might appreciate it. I left both books where they would find them (unsigned). They quickly sussed it was me and left me a lovely thank you note! Nina beamed at me when I next saw her and declared that she'd already started hers!
The third was Black Water Rising by Attica Locke for Christine who was looking for something different. She took hers home on Friday.
The fourth was One Day by David Nichols for James, who is a World Book Night giver. During a chat when he told me what he was up to he mentioned that he really wanted to read One Day so I've treated him to it, and he'll be getting it on Monday.
It's been great fun choosing the books and seeing peoples faces light up when they've got them. So thank you for the suggestion.

Effie said...

I gave my third book a short while ago.
It was to a friend who listened, ears pinned to the wall, whilst I regaled her with the tale of when I met Lucy Coats today, on World Book Night.
She told me of the time when she worked in a once-known book chain and mistook Ian Rankin for Iain Banks - an unforgivable mistake, she said, shaking her head.
So I gave her the third book. To forgive her, though I wasn't the one to forgive, for understanding her embarrassement for I had things to be embarrassed about, for being human because we all are. And that's all we can do. To understand. And to give what we can, when we can.
She said she'd let me read it when she'd finished.
That's good enough for me.

Mike Jarman said...

I scribbled about mine here: http://mikejarman1.blogspot.com/2011/03/inspired-idea.html

L'Aussie said...

Well that's putting Twitter to good use. (I've just written a tongue-in-cheek expose of tweeting). I missed WBN as I only just discovered you through Ann Best. Don't worry. I buy a swag of books all the time and delight in passing them onto my daughters and students. Go bookworld!

Denise:)

Sue Guiney said...

Actually, I've turned this into Book Month. I'm giving away copies of my own novel to benefit various charities around SE Asia.

Julie Cohen said...

I'm giving away "official" books for WBN, which I'm finding a very rewarding exercise, but I also bought a copy of A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving from a local independent book shop and left it in my favourite cafe in Reading with a note on it saying it was free to anyone who wanted it.

Sue Scott said...

I took my three kids to Waterstones and bought The Worst Witch for my six year old who loves to read. Dead Man's Cove by Lauren St John - winner of the Blue Peter book award was requested by my nine year old who doesn't like to read but tries. Finally, my one year old got a copy of You're Not So Scary, Sid! by Sam Lloyd which has scared the c**p out of her ever since!

M Louise Kelly said...

Bought a book for my Portobello High school library. I'd seem like a bit of a 'sook', as they say here in scotland, if i told you what it was, but it wasn't a 'wasted' purchase (if you get my drift).

Got it in Waterstones in the end as various events prevented me reaching the Edinburgh Bookshop. But it all helps.

Anonymous said...

Bought An uncommon reader by Alan Bennett, from an independent bookshop. Registered it on book crossing and popped it into old fashioned household/hardware shop I have used.

juliazknight said...

I bought An Elephant in the Garden (Michael Morpurgo) and gave it to my daughter. I gave my son one of my ARCs. Is that cheating? :D

My husband didn't used to read at all-dyslexia makes it hard. But I lured him in with Pratchett. Now he steals my books!

Steph said...

I bought Clean Break by Jacqueline Wilson, whom I adore. There are no kids in my life but all of her books. I decided to give it away on my website. Closing date for entries next Thu, I'll post it on Saturday and if it goes farther than England... well... it really does qualify as a WORLD book, bought, given away and posted in the spirit of WBN!

http://www.thecreativeidentity.com/the-creative-identity/2011/03/world-book-night-give-away.html