World Book Night is well under way. I did my bit early, taking my two dozen copies of Good Omens to the local college where library staff had assured me that the student population were not, in fact, regular readers beyond what was necessary for coursework. So I expected it to be a bit of a struggle. But in the end it wasn’t; I teamed up with a fellow giver, and, armed with free books and lots of chocolate, she got them to spend time with a delusional shopaholic while I persuaded them that the end of the world, as imagined by Messrs. Pratchett and Gaiman, is incredibly funny. I left a couple of young guys already nose-deep in their books, and came home happy.
But I am left with a sneaking suspicion that it may have been too easy. I’m delighted to have shared the books where I shared them – it’s true that no one we spoke to had read either book before, and I doubt that many of them are avid readers in general. But I don’t think the books they got today are likely to change their lives. The same can’t be said for another giver, whose story was posted on the WBN blog. I won’t steal her thunder; please click the link to read. All I’ll say is that it’s left me with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.