Reading is one of my passions in life. If I died reading The Count of Monte Cristo, I’d shuffle of this mortal coil with a big old smile on my face. Anything that involves books and reading automatically piques my interest, so imagine my excitement when I heard that World Book Night had come around again so quickly (I can’t believe it’ll be May next week!).
Having submitted my application to be a World Book Giver last year, it was a pleasure to discover that my pitch had been successful. Now, receiving that email confirming you are A Chosen One is a magical, nerve-racking experience. It may sound geeky (bite me, I’m a self confessed bibliophile), but honest to God, I couldn’t contain myself. Imagine Roald Dahl’s Charlie Bucket discovering the Golden Ticket in Wonka’s Chocolate Bar, and you have an inkling as to the amount of pure exhilaration which flooded my veins.
My chosen book this year was Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. This is my favourite Fleming book and the first Bond adventure I read which originally got me hooked on the sexy super spy. It is also Bond’s first outing in Fleming’s masterpiece and I have no difficulty believing that the book is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year (it really is a timeless tome).
As I headed into town to dish out the books, I couldn’t help but reflect on how insanely lucky I am to have books at my fingertips. There are a tonne of people out there, who don’t have the resources to read and that’s what I love about World Book Night. It gives people with a real passion for books, to spread the joy of reading and champion this vastly underrated pastime. Because all it takes is a book and imagination to be transported to a different world and era. A hat tip to all the publishers who participated in this fantastic scheme and have given their books freely for distribution.
I gave my books out in less than 20 minutes, which is something of a record for me (it took 30 minutes last year). The look of delight was reciprocal; on my face as I handed over the precious book, and on the recipients’ faces, who were cheery at getting an unexpected gift. To those who now have a book (I dished out) in your possession; I hope you enjoy and love the book as much as I do.