And so the World Book Night debate continues…
I’ll be honest, I still have a few floating round my flat (much to the boyf’s annoyance). Sadly, for me, World Book Night’s organizational skills left a lot to be desired. I know it was a massive undertaking, but my experience really wasn’t good. First I was told my local pick up point was in Brighton (I live in Southampton, then I was told I could pick them up Friday (the day before the event), but they weren’t there, then I was called to go back in later that day (4pm no less) to take them home and number them all, except I hadn’t received my WBN unique identifier numbers, and no amount of tweets, emails or phone calls got a response. Monday morning I was called to be informed that I didn’t need these mysterious numbers anyway, but since I still had the books I could go on to bookcrossing. Which I did. Bookcrossing required me to enter in the ISBN 48 times to get 48 numbers to write in the back of 48 books. I’ve given out some but I spent a glorious weekend in Dorset helping my parents chop down a tree and just generally chilling out in the countryside, really, WBN has slipped down the list of things to do. Tomorrow I have to travel to London to get some work done at the British Library so I might take a few on the train. Either way, I haven’t done my bit and actually, don’t feel all that guilty.
So, the debate is, does this increase in sales for the titles involve prove that WBN was a success, or at the very least has had a positive impact on the world of bookselling? I’m not sure- as one of the commenters on the article points out, WBN could also be blamed for overall sales being down (because 1 million books have been acquired for free). In addition, from my (limited) experience, the event has largely passed people by who don’t already engage with the wonderful world of books, publishing and all that malarky. And surely they buy books anyway.
Personally, my best book related experience this week has been helping a friend out with suggestions on what to read next. With the aid of twitter my friend got numerous tweets giving him suggestions and I enjoyed creating a dialogue between people who don’t know each other about one of the things I love. I think this interactive experience of recommendations and “you must read this!” moments is and always will be the most rewarding way of getting each other to read.