As we first mentioned earlier this month, something quite astonishing is going to happen at dusk on the 5th March 2011 and I think it's something you might like to be part of.
On that evening, one million books are going to be given away, as a celebration of reading and of giving. Twenty-five titles have been chosen for this extraordinary event and, wonderfully for us, two of them are Virago titles: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.
Of course, World Book Night needs book givers – 20,000 to be exact ! – and that's where I thought you might like to come in.
If you apply – BY JANUARY 4th 2011 – you could be chosen to be one of the book givers and receive 50 copies of the title of your choice to give away. You can give books to neighbours, friends, strangers. Anyone you think would like the book you've picked.
The whole event is going to be a huge extravaganza, covered by a major programme on BBC TV and by all the press. Who knows, you could be seen on television giving away your books.
We are looking for people who live in Britain and who are passionate about books. You have to apply as an individual but you can do so on behalf of a group – a bookgroup; a jogging group; a clubbing/pubbing group; a hospital ward; a student dorm; an office … Or you can apply to give them out yourself.
We're supporting this venture to the hilt, as are our authors:
Margaret Atwood said: "I was amazed not only by its magnitude but by its simplicity. The love of writing, the love of reading – these are huge gifts. To be able give someone else a book you treasure widens the gift circle. I was thrilled to be asked to support World Book Night, and doubly thrilled that The Blind Assassin was chosen to help launch it. Long may its voyage be!"
Sarah Waters said: "World Book Night is a really extraordinary thing, an idea beautiful in its simplicity and wonderful in its implications: a national celebration of reading, of the sharing of books, literary passions and ideas. I'm absolutely delighted that Fingersmith is one of the selected novels."
It's an opportunity. It's going to be fun. I would love you to join us. Here is the link to sign up, by January 4th.
Best wishes and happy holidays,
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