Want some free books? Then get yourself to a World Book Night event next Monday. Back for its second year of celebrating reading and promoting literacy, World Book Night has secured thousands of copies of 25 titles to give away on 23 April (Shakespeare’s birth (ish) and death day, plus UNESCO’s Day of the Book).
The big party is at the Southbank Centre where Jon Ronson, Andrea Levy, Meg Rosoff, Elif Shafak, Lemn Sissay and Iain Banks are appearing – and Mark Haddon will read from his as-yet-unpublished novel The Red House. The evening continues with comedy, spoken word and free cocktails and closes with candlelit readings on the terrace. But it costs a tenner, and there are lots of local events happening that are free.
We’ll be giving away copies of The Remains of the Day at Manor House Library in Lewisham, plus readings from Bernadette Russell and Gemma Seltzer, whose Speak to Strangers project is a rather nice fit with the idea of giving away books to strangers (she also told us about her top 10 peaceful places in London. Maybe you could read at one of them). It’s free, but call 020 8314 7794 to book.
If you don’t want to see us, we’ll be a bit hurt but we understand. How about meeting Sophie Kinsella on a bus at Hammersmith, Kensington and Paddington libraries? Comedy at Willesden Green Library? Folk tunes and copies of How I Live Now at Westminster Reference Library? Beer, books and copies of Iain Banks’s The Player of Games in Chiswick? Let us know in the comments if there are more events we couldn’t find on the World Book Night website.