On World Book Night, 1 million books will be given away free of charge. And I have been chosen to give away 48 of them. The book I’m giving away is Stuart – A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters.
I first read Stuart in the summer of 2006. I don’t know precisely when I read every book I’ve read, but I can place this one exactly – I had read it shortly before I joined the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2006. In that first year working for the Book Fest I managed to get to 4 or 5 events, and the most memorable was one with Alexanders Masters talking about Stuart. Even having read the book beforehand, I was quite blown away with the force of the emotion of that first chapter. And hearing Alexander Masters talk about Stuart, about the man, about writing about him, about his relationship with him, and about his all too real sense of loss and grief was utterly heart-breaking.
I now have the opportunity to share Stuart with the rest of the world. Well, not quite the whole world, but I’m hoping to distribute my 48 copies widely. So far it’ll be travelling to Australia, Ireland and Cornwall through me. I’m sure I can do better than that, and also get it to South Africa, and maybe America. And hey, surely I can do Germany/Switzerland too. And maybe India.
Anyway – World Book Night is worth supporting. Some great publishers are promoting reading by giving away 1 million books. I’m proud to be helping them.