Testimonials

We recieved many amazing stories from our 2012 givers, below are a few of our favourites.

"Maybe the best story was about the book I didn't give away. I asked Rani if she would like a copy of Small Island; would she promise to read it if I gave her one. "No" she said, "I'm 57 and I can't read nor write, I can't take your book" She wants to learn so much, she says, but how do you find out about where you can learn to read if you can't read? When she goes to the hospital or the bank, she says she has forgotten her glasses so other people fill in the forms for her. She told me she can't use trains as she can't read the stations. Her life is truly impoverished by her inability to read. So, we have made a pact. I have her phone numbers. I will find her a local literacy scheme, get her on it and next year, she will take a World Book Night book  - and read it for herself."  Sara Nathan, Small Island

"I would like to thank you for choosing me to be a giver...As a sufferer of social anxiety I don’t very often find the courage to venture out through my front door but being a giver has given me the courage and focus to go out and meet new people whilst giving them a free book and changing their lives as much as they change mine…" Louise Dibble, Someone Like You

"My plan was to stand outside the local Jobcentre and give out books to people who really could do with cheering up, and possibly don't read much. I was a little scared, and anticipating some rudeness from people who weren't interested. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. No one was rude. A few people ignored me, or politely declined. But most people gratefully accepted a book, with a big smile and a thank you. I approached the kind of people I would usually avoid out of fear: young men, hooded and tattooed, exiting the Jobcentre scowling. Most of them said they didn't read much, but thanked me and said they would give this book a go."  Wendy Attwell, The Time Traveler’s Wife

"I chose to give out copies of The Alchemist to patients and staff at Llandough Hospital in Cardiff. I thought it would be a fantastic book to read if you were ill or worried about a family member or working in an area that can be very stressful and emotionally draining. I was nervous about approaching the general public, but watching the anxiety drop from peoples’ faces as they were in the waiting room, the surprise as I stopped them in the corridor and the timid smiles from waiting relatives, grateful that they had something else to think about made it a day to remember. I didn’t want to reach the end of my bag of books! My favourite bit was turning back after I had given a book to the huddle of interest I had created, or to watch people examining their gift and showing others.  For me World Book Night 2012 turned into a day about people, sharing and passing on a bit of hope to those who doubt that there is anything worth hoping for."  Emily Hunter, The Alchemist

"It was the unexpected contributory outcome of giving a copy to my nephew and our conversation about war that stands out and will stay with me. After several years, he finally sought help following his tours in Iraq and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress and is now receiving support. Of course, it is not all down to the book, but I know for sure that it helped him to open up and express himself.  Thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity."  Anne Glynn, The Book Thief

And here's what some of our wonderful authors have said about World Book Night

"No writer can ask more than this: that his book should be handed in thousands to people who might otherwise never get to read it, and who will in turn hand it to thousands more. That his book should also pass from one generation to another as a story to challenge and excite each reader in his time – that is beyond his most ambitious dreams."  John le Carré
 
"I love this idea. There's something primeval about it: to think of my story being passed on from one person to another makes me feel a connection with the earliest storytellers in their caves, or crouching around a fire on the dark savannah. The relationship between the storyteller, the story, and the audience is an ancient one that long predates things like bestseller lists and royalty statements, or even money itself. It's really a form of enchantment. The gift idea is just as old and just as potent, and to see them combined in this brilliant and simple way is a delight. I'm very privileged to be part of it."  Philip Pullman

"World Book Night would have to be one of the most exciting things to be happening in 2012. The thought of thousands of books being handed out, street to street, town to town, is one of those dreams I would have never thought possible – but World Book Night is making it happen. People will be reading and sharing books they might never have had the chance to before, and that will lead them to more great stories as time goes by. At the moment, though, I think World Book Night itself is the story to celebrate and embrace. It’s an honour to be involved."  Markus Zusak

"I was never a big reader when I was young. It took a friend giving me a novel and telling me to read it before I really understood what a wonderful and enriching experience reading can be. After that I started reading voraciously and it changed my life to a point I would never have imagined – I started writing books myself! As a novelist I want my work to be read by as wide an audience as possible, so to have one of my titles on the WBN list is a real thrill and a privilege. World Book Night is a great project and I’m honoured that Small Island is one of the books chosen for 2012."  Andrea Levy

"All my life the best and biggest thrill has always been the moment when someone hands me a book and says, "Here, you'll love this." World Book Night makes it possible for thousands of readers to give that thrill to other readers: "Here, we love this and we think you will, too." I am very honored that The Time Traveler’s Wife has been chosen as a book people want to share."  Audrey Niffenegger

"I feel deeply honoured that Room has been chosen as one of the titles for World Book Night 2012.  Reading is a gift - not just the ability to read, but the time, energy and emotion it involves.  So what better way to celebrate books than to give them away?"  Emma Donoghue

"‘Books have been a constant fixture in my life since I was very young (I may have played truant a lot but I was more often than not reading in  a library!) and I’ve passed that passion on to my children and grandchildren. I’m all in favour of initiatives like World Book Night; with libraries under threat of closure anything that puts books in the limelight and encourages people to read and share their love of a good read should be fostered."  Martina Cole

"If World Book Night gives a love of reading to only one person it will have been worth all the thousands of books handed out for free. I cannot imagine the emptiness of a life without reading; it would be like living without love. Knowing that Touching the Void has been selected as a World Book Night title is both an honour and a delight."  Joe Simpson

On World Book Night

No writer can ask more than this: that his book should be handed in thousands to people who might otherwise never get to read it, and who will in turn hand it to thousands more. That his book should also pass from one generation to another as a story to challenge and excite each reader in his time – that is beyond his most ambitious dreams.

John le Carré

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