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Friday, 14 April 2017

Getting closer - World Book Night

We are drawing nearer to the annual celebration of reading and literature on the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, and death. The Patronal festival of the national saint of England, George, and the day dedicated to the English language by the United Nations - World Book Night.

One of the suggestions for the day is to give a favourite book to someone who is not an avid reader but an occasional visitor to the land of literature, or reads very rarely.

This person could be a work colleague,  friend, a relative, anyone. I seem to recall from a few years ago people leaving books in coffee shops, bus stations on trains, etc. for someone else to pick up, and enjoy.

It could be a bit counter intuitive, a book simply left behind might suggest that it isn't worth reading, that is has been dumped, like an ex-partner. Perhaps a friendly little note tucked inside the cover would be helpful?

I have a well thumbed anthology of poetry; Poems on the Underground,  (Published by Cassell, fourth edition 1994, ISBN 0-304-344449-4). A   collection of poetry displayed on the London Underground for travellers on the tube.   In it is a short piece entitled "London Airport"  by Christopher Logue, about a bin for unwanted literature and the poem he scribbled to drop in.

Not quite the idea of World Book Night. This is a more considered approach. I think the reasoning behind the selection of books available on World Book Night and handed out by relatively anonymous distributors is to take the edge off the gift.

Books,  like music, are the sort of thing we have visible around the home. There for all to see is an impression we want to give. You want to know about someone, examine their bookshelves, the ranked titles will be revealing. Not unlike the choice in music, and like music, giving the gift of a book can say far more than expected.

So which would I choose? The official site has the selection  for this year, my choice isn't on the list, and I do have a book in mind. I'm still unpacking why that one in particular..

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