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.