A blog to share my enthusiasm for books.
There has been a move over the last few years to encourage more reading, especially in children.
World Book Day is held at the beginning of March. Schools can apply to get a book token for every child and they can then take these to their local bookshop and swap it for one of the specially commissioned books. They can also put the token towards a more expensive book. Bookshops put on special book displays and events to encourage children and parents into the bookshop.
Last year World Book Night was launched. People can sign up to be book givers and, if chosen, they collect their pile of books. Last year a friend was a giver and she was allocated the super ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls. As instructed, when I had read it I passed it on to another reader and hopefully the book is still being read and passed on. If you haven’t read it yet it’s a bitter-sweet story of a man and a woman. Each chapter is set on one particular day, the same day but in different years, and so the story unfolds.
This year I have been chosen as a giver and my book will be ‘Harlequin’ by Bernard Cornwell. It’s part of the Grail Quest trilogy, well researched historical novels set during the reign of Edward III and following the fortunes of an English archer. I’ve read them all and each one was a really good read.
Quick Reads have just been launched. They are specially written books by well known authors which are short (80-110 pages) and with bigger print than is usual. The books are easy reads and hopefully will encourage folk to read other books by authors they have enjoyed. I have just read 3 of them.
1 ‘Amy’s Diary’ by Maureen Lee is the story of a young girl as she grows into womanhood during the Second World War. As with all her books this is well structured and well written. People who enjoy this night well enjoy ‘Mother of Pearl’, ‘Nothing Last Forever’ or ‘Martha’s Journey’, all by the same author.
2 ‘The Cleverness of Ladies’ by Alexander McCall Smith is a collection of 3 delightful short stories, all with a central female figure. I love the way McCall Smith always calls the ‘ladies’ rather than women. It says a lot about how he views the world don’t you think? I hope to do a longer post about his books later.
3 ‘Quantum of Tweed. The Man with the Nissan Micra’ by Conn Iggulden had me laughing out loud. It is a take on the James Bond genre and quite different from the usual Iggulden books I so enjoy. A longer post about this author is planned.
These initiatives are sponsored by Galaxy, who also sponsor the Galaxy National Book Awards.
Richard and Judy do their bit to support reading for pleasure, as does Oprah.
The Guardian had a reading initiative several months ago. They had a sticky label in the paper with details of the book scheme. The idea was that you took a book you had really enjoyed reading, stuck the label inside with a comment about what you liked about the book and then you left it somewhere where another would find it and hopefully read it before passing it on again. I left one on a bus and picked one up on the steps of The Albert Hall. Great!
At a time when local authorities are closing libraries it’s so important that we do everything to encourage reading for pleasure. I couldn’t live without reading. And I don’t see why anyone else should.