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World Book Day and World Book Night

In March 2011, schools, libraries, readers and writers set out to celebrate the world of books in as many ways as there were people involved. Here are three of them....

   Anna Foster gives away 'Life of Pi' at Gatwick

Below and Below Right

Historian Victoria Seymour tells the story of her day....

One million books, including works by Alan Bennett and John le Carre, were given away in the UK and Ireland to mark last Saturday evening’s inaugural World Book Night. Potential distributors were invited to pick their favourite from 25 titles and were then given 48 copies of their choice to pass on to a friend with their recommendation. There was huge public support for the idea but only 20,000 people were successful in getting a batch of books  They were distributed at venues including homeless centres, pubs and hospitals in a bid to boost reading.

To mark World Book Night in her own way, local modern social history writer,  Victoria Seymour, met patrons in the foyer  and bar of The Stables Theatre on Saturday evening, to hand out free copies of her book, “Austerity Diary from Lavender Cottage ~ Hastings 1947”. Victoria said, ‘I had applied to get the 48 books but as I has not been successful I decided to go it alone.

It was a pleasant experience to give people a surprise gift. On the way home I dropped in to my local convenience store and a betting shop, to distribute more copies.

Left Kent-based publisher Anna Foster was at Gatwick airport, giving away copies of 'Life of Pi' to travelers heading out all over the world.

Anna says... I chose Gatwick Airport as my books would start their journey by going to many different countries, making the event truly global. The books went in 20 minutes and are now in Sweden, Egypt, Canada, the US, France, Croatia, Italy, Cuba, Iceland, Spain and Portugal among others. People were thrilled to receive the books and for me, World Book Night, was an amazing experience. I can't wait till next year.


Below Hastings author Kate O'Hearn visited a school in the town of Battle to talk to young readers and writers.

Kate O'Hearn


One recipient of Victoria's books

Victoria hands out copies of the 'Austeriy Diaries'

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