Tonight is World Book Night, a million books are to be given away.
Sharing is what we do with books, it is part of our book reading culture: We lend them to our friends, we donate them to charity shops.
Books without readers are like musical scores without players. And unless people are introduced to the joys of reading, reading books will disappear. World Book Night allows passionate readers to share the books they adore. And it’s a gift … gifts make powerful statements.
There are though a few killjoys: What all those books being given away, look at all the lost sales.
The same criticism has been levied at bookcrossing, a great idea, shame about the crap website.
Anything that gets people reading, anything that gets people back into the habit of reading, anything that reminds people how much pleasure they can take in a book is a good thing.
I don’t see this as millions of lost sales for bookshops; I see it as, potentially and with luck, hundreds of thousands more customers for bookshops.
We hear the whining from the global music industry: People sharing music is destroying our business.
If people no longer visit bookshops, the bookshops have only themselves to blame, that and the greedy publishers offering heavily discounted books to chain stores to try and turn around a quick buck.
World Book Night is not just a national event. Guildford Library tonight is open until midnight to celebrate local authors. Authors who will be at Guildford Library include Irene Black. Sadly the whole point of World Book Night appears to have been missed, that of giving books away.
World Book Night is not just a national event. This year the UK has been joined by USA, Ireland and Germany. In Germany copies of Rock Your Life will be given away.
In total, across all participating countries, 2.5 million books will be given away.
Writers write to be read, musicians play to be heard.
Unless we share, how do we find new books, new music?
I am pleased to see three of the participating authors are personal friends.