World Book Night 2012

 World Book Night 2012

Ever wondered what you’d get if you took enthusiastic volunteers, a big bus, over 200 free books, candles, a library, a company of Girl Guides and William Shakespeare’s birthday, and mixed them all  together? Well, having tried it, we can say that it makes a big, fantastic World Book Night experience!

 Why we were doing it

Got to Read would like to get every one in Suffolk reading more and reading together, so the World Book Night idea is something very close to our hearts. Having applied many, many months ago to be World Book Night givers, we had more than 200 books that we loved, so that we could give them away on the night and share our enthusiasm for books and reading with other people.

The Big Book Bus


Voices for Gainsborough Library (V4GL) very kindly sponsored the hire of a beautiful heritage bus, so World Book Night started at 3pm for us, when we loaded up the bus and set off around the Gainsborough area of Ipswich. 


Who cares if it rains if you have a book and a bus?

Our first stop was Pipers Vale Primary school.  Children joined in the Design a Book Cover competition, organised by staff from Gainsborough Community Library, while we talked to the mums and dads and gave away our first books.  Yippee. Nobody seemed to mind that it was pouring down with rain outside.



Book givers ready to go

We went from the school to other places around Gainsborough, stopping and chatting to people about books and giving more and more away.  The bus attracted a lot of attention and we got lots of lovely comments from those taking the books.  There was no stopping the volunteers, who dived into shops, stopped people in the street and even left a few copies in a public loo on Murray Road (anyone claimed them yet?)

Candle-lit reading and Shakespeare’s birthday

Candle-lit reading at Gainsborough Library

After 3 fantastic hours on the bus, but having to brave the cold and wet weather at stops, we were glad to get back to the warmth and cheer of Gainsborough Library.  The lovely cafe staff (if you haven’t tried the cafe there, you really should) had hot drinks waiting for us while we got set up for the next activities.

We arranged our few remaining books, which looked beautiful by candle light.  Then the 29th Ipswich All Hallows Guides arrived and started rehearsing key scenes from Romeo and Juliet with the help of Got to Read volunteer Selena Timmins-Chapman.  Selena had chosen bits which really appealed to the Guides and their performance of everything, but especially the final death scenes, was inspiring.  William Shakespeare would have been proud.

Romeo, Juliet and the Guard lie dead in the 'tomb'

What were the best bits?

The best bit of all about the night was getting out and about and talking to everyone about books and reading.  We gave away all of our books and hopefully, people will enjoy them and pass them on to someone else. 

And it was a real buzz to be around people who love reading so much – as well as Got to Read volunteers, we were joined on the bus by givers from Gainsborough Library, Club 4 Teenz, V4GL, Ipswich Children’s Book Group and Arts Council East.  Not to forget Ipswich Waterstones who arranged for our books to reach us and sent us children’s activity packs.  And Christine, another World Book Night giver, who’d seen our Tweets and joined us on the bus.

World Book Night 2013?

Did you get or give a book during World Book Night this year?  We’d love to hear about your experiences if you’d like to leave us some comments below.

We really hope that there will be a World Book Night 2013, so get in touch with us if you’d like to join in with another event next year.


Volunteer Training – Raring to go!

Our first Got to Read volunteers completed their training last week, and are ready to start being matched up with partners who’d like some support with reading and writing.

We met up at Gainsborough Community Library, where we really enjoyed learning about some easy ways to help someone start building up their confidence with reading.  We practised them on each other and we also found out more about our own learning styles.

It was a morning filled with great ideas and a lot of laughter and I felt that we all earned our certificates!

I think you can see here  what a friendly and cheery group our volunteers are.  So if you know someone who might want a bit of informal, friendly help with reading or writing, please help them to get in touch with us.

You can give either Wendy T: 07527 474218 or Tracy T: 07528 147654 a call or you can send us an email at and we’ll get in touch.  There is more information about how the reading support works here.

And if you think you’d like to be a Got to Read volunteer, please get in touch, as we have another set of free training days coming up very soon.

Happy Easter!




World Book Night 23rd April 2012

I’ve just been on to the World Book Night site and registered to be a ‘giver’ again this year.  If you don’t know what WBN is all about, pop over there now and have a look.

The idea is that  you can apply to have 24 copies of the book you’d most like to give away from the list.  A whole gang of us applied to be givers last year and had a brilliant time at Gainsborough library that night chatting to all the people who came in to talk to us about the books.

I’ve asked for Pride and Prejudice this year – it never fails to make me smile and I know I could get really enthusiastic in persuading others to give it a go!

If you could give any book you liked as a present, what would it be?

Our World Book Night 'stall' in 2011



The view from the window

view from the office window

Got to Read is lucky enough to have office space at County Library in Ipswich – a perfect place to be based when we’re all about the love of reading and literacy, and full of inspiration for our coming adventures and journey.

I’m also feeling inspired by the view from the window a few minutes ago – a true Suffolk sunset.  It was so beautiful that I wanted to share it  My mobile phone probably hasn’t done it true justice, but it still looks impressive.