I’m a World Book Night Giver!

I woke up this morning to a lovely email from the organisers of World Book Night. I have been selected to be a ‘giver’ which means that on Saturday 5 March I will be distributing 48 copies of C.J. Sansom’s Dissolution to people in Oxford as a celebration of literature, literacy, reading and the value of the written word. It is doubly exciting as it’s the night before my birthday so I can combine this bookish escapade with my birthday celebrations!

As yet, I am undecided as to where exactly I will be giving the books. There are so many ideas to choose from. Should I give them out at one of the many homeless shelters or hospices? Or, should I use this as an opportunity to join forces with those who are campaigning against the closure of 50% of the local libraries in Oxfordshire?

I don’t want to get political especially as this is not about politics; rather, it’s about ethics and ideology. The devaluation of local libraries as a resource for local communities is, in my opinion, unethical. Libraries are not just places for people to borrow books from. They are centres for community groups to meet, for people to access the internet and places for people to explore ideas and learn.

There has been much campaigning across Oxford against the proposed funding cuts and closures. I wrote to my local MP who wrote back, which I was grateful for, however she spelt my name incorrectly. She has since written to keep me updated as to what she is ‘doing’ about the cuts; spelling my name incorrectly again. Now, I could go on a rant about this slapdash illiteracy. I won’t, but I would like to point out that perhaps she should go to her local library and borrow a book on both manners and spelling.

The author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman, wrote a fantastic piece about the cuts which you can read here. He lives in Oxford and has been at the forefront of the campaign.

To be part of World Book Night is an honour and so exciting. I will keep you updated as to what I plan to do with the books. Any ideas are more than welcome! And if you are a ‘giver’ in Oxford, let me know and we could combine forces!

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11 thoughts on “I’m a World Book Night Giver!

  1. What a brilliant article from Philip Pullman. It's got me all fired up! I like the idea about supporting the library – perhaps you should print off something about the library closures and encourage people to use the library and petition their MP and put it inside each copy of the book? If anything's worth getting political about, this is! I HATE it when people misspell my name. How hard is it?!

  2. How wonderful. I saw this campaign a while back and wished I could be involved (I can't, I'm in Bangkok!) but I do hope that you will blog all about it as I'd love to hear about your experience.Good luck.

  3. Very exciting but a difficult decision on who to give the books to which deterred me from entering! My friend is giving out 'Love in the time of Cholera' in this area (Lee-on-Solent). Looking forward to reading how you get on.

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