Well things are really hotting up now and I'm starting to get very excited about World Book Night. I've been asked to do a few interesting things as well as getting myself into some vexed and very tangled discussions with a few people who are very agin World Book Night for reasons various, all of which I respect.
I've had to take an executive decision about my stance on this, because whilst I can try to understand all points of view and acknowledge the anxieties and threats perceived from those within the book trade, some of whom see it as another nail in the coffin for their shops and publishing, I am first and foremost a reader and book lover with no loyalties elsewhere. I hope the booksellers won't hold it against those of us who, as well as spending an inordinate of money with them over the years, do our very best to support them and are also approaching this whole event with some much needed unbridled enthusiasm for their product, especially given the daily dose of February misery that equals watching the news these days. To balance that I am also thankfully hearing about bookshops with some great events and initiatives for the day and it's a book lover's paradise on TV and radio too.
So World Book Night Saturday March 5th, whilst Sunday March 6th happens to be the dovegreyreader scribbles 5th birthday, so I'm sure to be sick with all the excitement that weekend especially as Vocal Harem, the lovely women's community choir that I sing with, have a concert (booked eighteen months ago) on the Saturday evening too, and that is when I will be giving out my choice of book, The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy to choir members after the concert.
As well as all this I'm doing 'something' with the BBC, more of which when it's 'a wrap' or 'in the can' or whatever I'm supposed to say, and you will be the first to know about broadcast dates so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm a bit sparse around these parts next week. I won't be ignoring you, I'll be frantically reading books and then going to London to record.
Are there any other givers out there?
Any bookshops with events?
Please do let me know and I'll try and do a few round up blog posts to include them all and if you have photos of the day I'll include those afterwards... and I must mention one work colleague who will be giving her books away outside a football ground on the Saturday afternoon, there's brave for you.
One other point I do want to highlight though... if you are a book giver I think it would be wise to check with the collection point that you have chosen to ensure that they have actually agreed to take the books in. It was an opt-out rather than an opt-in venture and I hear some haven't done so. Whilst I don't want to spread panic and alarm nor can I bear the thought of people being disappointed... not all book sellers are happy about this initiative and I have heard that some will turn parcels away if people haven't been in to ask permission to collect their books from them. Which all made me slightly queasy at the thought of some disappointed givers who may have set up special events... so best to double check.