A novelist writes about the mind, body and soul.

World Book Night Tonight

So far I’ve given away 17 copies of The Road by Cormac Mccarthy, in the W12 area of London. It’s World Book Night and I signed up to be a giver. I chose The Road, because when I read it about five or six years ago, I literally couldn’t put it down. Even though the subject matter is bleak , a father and his young son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic America, desperately trying to reach the coast, it is also strangely uplifting. Only two people I have offered books to refused, one an old man, who perhaps thought I was selling him something and another a woman who works in a butcher shop who said she only likes “light reads.”  The shopkeepers in the opticians, the wine merchant, Tesco, the chemist, seemed the most pleased to receive a book.  The majority of people said they didn’t get round to reading very much. I gave away two books in the builders cafe – one to the owner and one to a man who said he wasn’t very well at the moment, but would read it when he got better. I gave one to a mother picking up children, and one to a young forlorn girl standing in a doorway, who was really pleased and surprised that the book was for free. She said she would give it to her auntie. A newsagent said she would give it to her daughter as she could only concentrate for about two lines when she reads.  I urged her to give it a go, she said she would. I also gave one to a man who was waiting in a dentist surgery and one to a mother picking up her kids, who said she hasn’t had much time to read recently.

I am not sure how many of these 17 receivers will actually finish the book, but it’s great to be able to give something away,  rather than sell something.

I will give the rest away early evening. If anyone can get to W12 and wants a copy let me know!


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