In search of male humans on World Book Night
23 April 2014 would have been William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, is our dog’s 7th birthday, and is the first time I’ve been a World Book Night giver!
World Book Night is one of The Reading Agency charity’s programmes that aims to inspire a love of reading. Twenty books are selected for special edition World Book Night titles because they are brilliant reads. Thousands of volunteers apply to give one of these titles to people on World Book Night who are not regular readers or don’t own books. I chose The Humans by Matt Haig because it is hilarious and heartwarming, and Haig is a Yorkshire based author – and I’m giving in Yorkshire.
|This special World Book Night postcard was delivered with every copy of The Humans|
It may not be night yet but my copies of The Humans have been given! Little M and I took a tote bag, a rucksack and a dog on a sunny trail around our local village and town in search of ‘non-readers’. After seeing this research that suggests 30% of men don’t read books, I went in search of men. Books were given (and turned down!) by men working on construction sites, in builders’ merchants and hardware stores, in garages, in bike shops, in pubs, and in their own homes. Four copies went to women (who were more regular though not prolific readers): a female plumber, a charity worker, a shopkeeper, and a receptionist.
Many of the recipients were gracious and excited, and at least one copy is set to go on holiday and be read by the pool. Some recipients were reluctant because they didn’t read and thought they would be more likely to pass it on to someone else. Some people turned the offer down outright because they didn’t want to read and a few were ineligible because their lives were already surrounded by books and the pleasure of reading (they weren’t sure if this response would delight or sadden me!!). We also met another Giver on our route who was giving Peter James’ The Perfect Murder and it was lovely to chat with him (he also loves The Humans!).
It was great fun chatting along the way with people who loved reading, or were delighted (and surprised) to give it a go (if they can find the time!). I hope they really enjoy The Humans!
|World Book Night special edition of The Humans, front and back cover|
You can read my review of The Humans here.