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.
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.
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
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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org