My awesome friend Lucy, innovation specialist for the charities sector and director of LucyInnovation, is staying with us right now. She’s visiting from the UK, having been invited to speak at the recent FINZ Conference in Wellington, and will shortly go on to Santiago to deliver a series of lectures at the University of Buenos Aires on the topic innovation in fundraising.
Not only is Lucy currently the sole person in our household who can convince our 4 year old daughter to brush her teeth and her hair on the same day, (which is friendship gold), she is an avid reader, and has introduced me to World Book Night, “a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers gift specially chosen and printed books in their communities to share their love of reading”. World Book Night was formally celebrated on April 23 in the UK, Ireland and the USA, but as it’s about giving books as a means of encouraging reading, the books can quickly gain ‘legs’, start to travel the globe, and gather a family of readers. Which is just what Rose Tremain’s 2007 novel, The Road Home, has done. So far, the family tree of this copy of The Road Home began with Louise Shepherd in London, who gifted it to my friend Lucy, who has just finished the last page here on my couch in Featherston and has kindly passed it on to me. Given the book’s lineage so far, I’m tempted to bestow it on another woman in her mid to late 30s whose name begins with ‘L’, but I don’t think a rigid adherence to such a pattern is in the spirit of the movement!!
It would be great to have New Zealand join World Book Night… I’ve not looked into it in any detail just yet, and don’t know what the qualifying criteria are, but it’s on my to-do list to find out more. I’d love to hear from you, wherever you are in the world, if you have been gifted a World Book Night book, or if you’ve been involved in the event in more of an organisational capacity. It would be great to understand more about how this event is put together, and how NZ can be a bigger part of the global story.
Update 20th May 2013 – since being gifted my latest read, I’ve done a small bit of research into getting this idea off the ground here in NZ. Seems rather involved, and require every aspect of the book industry to embrace it. Here’s what I found (follow the link, and scroll down to end of the page to a pdf document)…. book people, what do you think? Does NZ have a chance??