Friday, 4 March 2011


A couple of months ago I applied to be a giver for World Book Night which is this Saturday. I was chosen which was very exciting. From then on things have taken on a bit of a nightmarish quality.

I went to pick up my 48 books (Collected Poems by Seamus Heaney) from a bookseller in Kelso, to be told by him that he was furious as he hadn't been told about this and he objected to books being given away while he was trying to sell them. I spent some time talking to him in my best professional tone to calm the troubled waters and eventually walked away with him carrying my box of books to my car, so felt I'd done quite well. I emailed the organisers to say that I didn't think it was such a great idea to not have participating booksellers on board before trying to foist them into a role they didn't want. I got a lovely email back to say they had spoken to said bookseller and all was aok.

When I opened my box of books, there they all were. Lovely, pristine, specially printed with a special cover for the night. Imagine my horror though when I looked at the inside back cover to discover there should have been a special number  to identify each book and there were no instructions whatsoever in the box. I emailed the organisers. What numbers? And I also realised I was supposed to write my name and where the book was to be given as well. This was turning into a lot more work than I had expected.

Last night, just as I was settling down, I got an email. It said, here are your special 10 digit numbers and please write them in each book. Ok 10 x 48 = 480 numbers. It took me an hour.

Now I'm getting worried about giving the books out tomorrow night. I can only hope the good folk of Gordon appreciate all the hard work I've done on their behalf and enjoy the poetry. I'm now thinking I'd have been better off with a novel!

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