Richard Churchill: World Book Night

Posted on May 2, 2011 by


World Book Night was something special. On the 5th of March 2011 1,00,000 books were given away.

Yes, you read that correctly. ONE MILLION BOOKS. To break it down for you if you didn’t click the link up above, 20,000 people received 48 copies of one of the 25 books selected for World Book Night which would then be distributed however they saw fit. Those 1 million books would be read and then passed on again and again to spread the joy of quality reading to as many people as possible.

I saw it during a news item on the BBC back in 2010 if memory serves, I made a note to sign up the following day as the website unsurprisingly went down shortly after it was mentioned on the beeb. But I signed up and almost forgot about it until in 2011 the emails began. To co-ordinate this event, distributing all those books, would have required a dedicated team, a strong logistics network , a little Energon and a lot of luck – the last of which is why I have not blogged about this until now. I was fortunate to be chosen as a “giver”, my book was to be Cloud Atlas. Unfortunately my books went MIA. Twice.

I was quite dis-heartened, a few things had happened in my life which had brought me down (as can be seen by my poor oneaday performance) and this struck me as typical for my life to date. So when in April, World Book Night got in touch to say that they were sorry about what had happened and they now had insufficient stock to get 48 copies to me, but would be able to send me a complete set of all 25 World Book Night titles, my first thought was that they no doubt would go missing too, which no doubt contributed to my joy (I do not use the world idly) when a box arrived at my local Library (big shout out to Jeanette at Pinner Library) containing the aforementioned World Book Night set.

So now I have the arduous and exciting task of reading this inspiring – and daunting when viewed as a physical presence – collection. the plan is to be read one a week, that way I can get them all done easily in 2011, not to mention giving me one blog post a week for half a year.

Next week I should have done the first book, i’ll probably choose a small one to ease into it and will write a blog about my thoughts and feelings post-reading (no spoilers of course). Then the first person who says “dibs” in the comments can have that book and the onus of reading and passing on shall fall to them.

Sounds great fun right? It is, there’s a website too which you can find here which contains all the information you’d ever need about this lovely project, you can also register a profile, registering all the World Book Night books you’ve stumbled across and enjoyed and discuss with other readers.

I’m certain only the coldest and meanest of individuals would not feel warmer inside just knowing such a thing exists.

Below is a list of all the books in the collection if you want to ear mark one to keep an eye out for when I blog about it.

Half of a Yellow Sun
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Case Histories
by Kate Atkinson

The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood

A Life Like Other People’s
by Alan Bennett

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
by John le Carre

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, No. 1)
by Lee Child

The World’s Wife: Poems
by Carol Ann Duffy

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

New Selected Poems, 1966-87
by Seamus Heaney

Rachel’s Holiday
by Marian Keyes

The Reluctant Fundamentalist
by Moshin Hamid

Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Betrayer, Hero, Spy
by Ben Macintyre

Love in the Time of Cholera (Vintage International)
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel

Stuart: a Life Backwards
by Alexander Masters

A Fine Balance
by Rohinton Mistry

Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell

by Toni Morrison

One Day
by David Nicholls

Northern Lights
by Philip Pullman

All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque

Dissolution. C.J. Sansom
by C. J. Sansom

by Nigel Slater

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
by Muriel Spark

by Sarah Waters

Posted in: Richie Churchill