Today is worldbooknight in the UK and the US – it is the second time that this has happened in the UK, and the second time that I have taken part.
This year I have been giving away copies of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I recently re-read my old copy of it in preparation for giving it away.
Last Monday I went to my local library to pick up my books – they came carefully packaged in large cardboard box labled with my name. I later had to fill in my details in the inside – my name and where the book was collected from and add in each unique ID number. This number can be used to track the books from now on. Recipients of the books can go to the worldbooknight website or the bookcrossing website and by entering in the ID number provide an electronic record of where the book is and who has it, maybe what they thought of it or what they plan to do with it next.
I wanted to give my books to strangers mainly – just randomly, as we do with bookcrossing books sometimes – it is just like those random acts of kindness you hear about – I always feel nervous doing it – going up to strangers. However it is lovely the reactions you get – and also funny – amazing how many people are suspicious and run away quickly. I also decided to give away a few copies at work – I randomly selected 6 people at work to give books to – and left the rest to give away in the city centre to people I don’t know.
I wanted to have a gallery of photos – Birmingham people who have taken away copies of the book. Some hid their faces – understandable I hate having my picture taken too – some politely refused which I said right from the start they could do. Look at the happy smiles!
My friend Gill – another bookcrosser like me – was giving away copies of Room, so we decided to give copies away together. We met up at 4.30 this afternoon at a city centre coffee shop we frequent often. Urban Coffee Company – where we hold our monthly bookcrossing meet ups – is a fabulous independent coffee shop – they sell delicious coffee and all sorts of other goodies. It is situated on Church street in Birmingham not far from the Cathedral off Colmore Row. We gave copies of both books to customers and staff at Urban Coffee Company – while enjoying some hot drinks and a snack too.
At about 6.00pm we ventured out into the streets. I gave a copy to a young girl in a school uniform at a bus stop who seemed delighted to have it. At another bus stop I met two sisters – although in their 20′s they laughed about sharing a bedroom and joked they could read out bits of the book to one another – I love that idea!
Now for the good news! I have three books left. I was going to give them all away in town – but to be honest I ran out of steam. So many people turned down the books – maybe they didn’t realise what it was! So I have kept three to give away here.
So if you would like one of the 3 copies I have left – leave a comment on the blog post so others can see if there are any left – and then email me at bookcrossing underscore ali at yahoo dot com with your address. This give away is open to anyone in mainland Europe – sorry everyone else – but UK postage has just gone through the roof.