I loved this idea a LOT when I first read about it. Unfortunately, when I first read about it, it was already too late to be one of the lucky people giving out amazing books to encourage the world to get reading.
Imagine my delight when I walked out of Leeds train station, battling with a slightly broken umbrella and about to step into the pouring rain, when a lovely lady proffered a copy of Pride and Prejudice "for free because it's World Book Night". I'm fairly sure I squeaked a little bit and said something inane like "How exciting! Thank you very much!". Because I am nothing if not over-excitable.
The copy itself is adorable and I love it, for so many reasons...
1. It has the wonderful little handwritten number in the front that makes it entirely unique and part of something global about how fabulous literature is.
2. It has a paragraph on the back that says:
"This book is a gift. It is one of a million which is being given as part of World Book Night 2012 to spread the joy and love of reading. You can enjoy it and pass it on and still keep it with you. All you have to do is read it. Once you have, the story is yours forever...
Please try this book. We think you're going to love it"
3. As World Book Night also happens to be the date that Shakespeare was born and died, Sonnet 116 is printed on the inside of the back cover.
4. The lovely World Book Night people asked the equally lovely Vintage publisher people what they would recommend to those who had finished Pride and Prejudice and felt bereft. So there's a handy little chapter of Half of the Human Race by Anthony Quinn.
5. I've never read Pride and Prejudice :-s
Bottom line? I am SO HAPPY that I got to leave the train station at the right time and walk into a little bit of World Book Night. It cheered up a pretty grim day no end :)
Want to read more about this superb event? Head here to the World Book Night website!