World Book Night, 23rd April 2013

World Book Night
World Book Night (Photo credit: danbruell)

We are so happy with the excellent titles of the books included on next year’s bookgivers’ list (World Book Night takes place on April 23rd 2013 and is designed to share books and the giver’s love of reading, anyone can get involved) and are very hopeful that we can join in again! Take a look at the superlist here and tell us which one you’d choose to share with others and why…

We first got involved in the year when the book giveaway began, in March 2011.  Here’s an extract from our library newsletter from the summer last year:

World Book Night, on Saturday 5th March 2011, was also celebrated in school by the giving-away of 45 copies of Ben Macintyre’s Agent Zigzag at football fixtures on Chesham Fields against Haileybury School on the day.  Mrs Maxted gave the books to footballers, coaches and families of both teams, as well as our catering team and members of St John Ambulance who attended the matches.  It appeared that the bookgiving was successful, with all copies disappearing.

Mrs Koulouris and Mrs Maxted also attended the World Book Night launch on Friday 4th March where they heard various authors, whose books were included in the giveaway, read extracts from their books, together with actors such as Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell and Rupert Everett read poems and songs.  With Graham Norton officiating, it was a great evening! ”

This year, Miss Guy, Head of Learning Resources, participated by giving copies of Audrey Niffenegger‘s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife to staff and students who came clamouring to the door!   And for 2013, I feel inspired.  Take a look and see…


World Book Night 2012, Shakespeare’s birthday (and date of death) and St George’s Day: 23rd April

Today, we in the library are celebrating  (and remembering) all of these events!

World Book Night was established last year by Jamie Byng, the owner of Canongate Books, to spread the love of reading as far as possible in the United Kingdom and this year is set to spread even further around the globe, with bookgiving events in the United States, Ireland and Germany as well as the UK.  Please click here to find out more…

Following on from the success of last year’s book giveaway on Saturday 5th March 2011, when we distributed copies of Ben Macintyre‘s book Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: The Most Notorious Double Agent of World War II to coaches, parents and students participating in that day’s football fixtures against Haileybury School, this year we have decided to give copies of Audrey Niffenegger‘s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife.  Miss Guy explains why:

 “I feel many readers of fiction will overlook this as it will be thrown into the romance genre and perhaps be glossed over thus I wished to resurrect a highly original novel which is very much more than a romantic liaison. The story revolves around Clare and Henry, a perfect couple except for that Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time. His disappearances can happen at any given time. We see and hear the impact of this time travel from both perspectives and through this we feel the heartache, the separation, the anger, the frustrations and the fears thus creating an exceptionally intense and moving piece of literature. Go on give it a try!”

Copies of the book are being distributed in Castle Library today.

Every one of this year’s books, as seen above, has a sonnet by William Shakespeare printed on the inside cover at the back which has been selected especially due to its significance and relevance to the story in each novel.  This wonderful idea has been inspired by the date of this year’s World Book Night, 23rd April being the date of birth of one of the world’s most famous playwrights (and, coincidentally, the date of his death some 52 years later in 1616).  The sonnets were chosen by poet, writer and musician, Don Paterson and must have been a mammoth task!  You can read more about this here.  He has, I believe chosen well for our featured novel:

Sonnet 44

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,

Injurious distance should not stop my way:

For then despite of space I would be brought,

From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.

No matter then although my foot did stand

Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;

For nimble thought can jump both sea and land

As soon as think the place where he would be.

But ah! Thought kills me that I am not thought,

To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,

But that, so much of earth and water wrought,

I must attend time’s leisure with my moan,

   Receiving nought by elements so slow

   But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

Shakespeare famously refers to Saint George thus:

“Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!”  Henry V, Act III

Saint George was not English and, indeed, is celebrated as a patron saint in other countries such as Georgia, Lithuania, Portugal and Greece, although his personage is identified with the English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry.  Very little is actually known about him, so anything we do know is considered the stuff of legend.  He was believed to have been born in Cappadocia, now part of Turkey, in the 3rd Century AD.  Born of Christian parents, he became a Roman Soldier whilst retaining his Christian beliefs and protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians.  He was tortured and imprisoned but remained true to his faith and on 1222, 23rd April was established as his Saint’s Day.  (Source of information: BBC Religions website accessed 23 April 2012)