In a couple of months, World Book Night will be happening for the second time ever. Last year I reported live from World Book Night at the event in Trafalgar Square, and then later in the Southbank Centre, which was great. This year, I won't be reporting from that side, as such, however I will be participating as a 'giver'!
At the end of January I decided to apply to be a giver, partly on a whim and also partly because one of the books for this year is Misery by Stephen King, which is a great book.
In my application, I had to answer questions on who I planned to give the books to, and why I had chosen this as my first choice. For who, I'd like this book to go to two kinds of people; first of all, people who turn their nose up at Stephen King. I've written before about how he's widely considered trash by a lot of literary snobs, but that he's my absolute favourite author. Surely a free copy of one of his books would be enough to get people to at least try? Secondly, I'd like to get people reading who don't read very much, or at all. Working for a technology company, I come across a lot of people who sometimes take pride in the fact that they've never read a real book, which I think is a real shame. Maybe Misery will get them started?
I chose Misery because I love Stephen King, however I had to write something a little more substantial for the application, so I wrote something along the lines of: Misery is about how relevant and real storytelling can be for people. For Annie, Paul's characters are like her own family and a lot of people feel this way about the characters that they know and love (I'm thinking of things like Harry Potter). It shows us that these characters and the worlds they inhabit have a real impact on our lives and they become something more to us than just entertainment. And just as in Annie's case, they can bring out the obsessional side in us, too.
I wasn't expecting to be chosen as I'm sure there were loads of people who applied, but I'm very proud and excited. Guess I had better read Misery again before April rolls around!