World Book Night 2011

This year I was a giver in World Book Night, an event for UK and Ireland, where 1 million books were given away. Participants could choose from 20 titles, all great books, hand picked by a committee. I chose to give Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. However, I will try to get my hands on the rest of the books in the list, at one time or another, because they all seem like interesting reads.

My decision was based on a vague recollection that my brother read it many years ago and loved it, but I never actually got to read it. The same string of events led me to read Dune – my brother read it, loved it, told me about it, then a few years after I decided to give it a try .. and boy did I love it! I remember reading all the Dune books in a summer and not wanting them to end .. I have the new set of Dune books for months, but didn’t dare starting them yet – we’ll see how that goes when I build up the courage.

I don’t remember me having any kind of influence on what he reads .. which is odd seeing that i’m the older one 🙂

All the books are gone now, I gave them to colleagues from DERI. Well.. I still have 4 on my desk, but they will be picked up by their new owners soon. I was happy to see that the busy folks in DERI have time (or try to make time) to read other things than research papers – I struggle with this a lot, evidence is my ever-growing “to read” list and stack of books. Some people who’d read the book before, said it was really good, so I’m quite happy with my choice.

This being the first edition of the WBN, there were some glitches in the organization – it was a huge event to coordinate, so I guess it was to be expected. Nothing too bad went wrong in my case. The most important part was actually getting the books, and I received the 48 copies with plenty of time to spare, so I could bring them to work one backpack at a time .. with a max of 24 books fitting in it – heavy! I had to register them on BookCrossing and each book got it’s own unique ID. With this ID it’s path can be tracked – this was done because the books were meant to be shared, so the persons who received them were encouraged to share them with others once they were done reading. It is not mandatory, of course, so if you received a book and liked it so much that you’d want to read it over and over again, or at least browse it now and again, you can keep it, it’s totally yours.

I liked the experience, so I will probably do it next year too, if there will be a World Book Night 2012.

P.S. I didn’t officially keep a copy for myself, although I was allowed, but instead I kept one for my dad, which I’ll give to him next time I go to Romania. I hope I’ll have time to read it by then 😉