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World Book Night Report

07/03/2011

The World Book Night event at St John’s on Saturday didn’t go quite as planned. David’s books hadn’t arrived on time. Instead, he had two boxes of Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights — somewhat ironically, given Pullman’s views on religion — and one of John Le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Still, with those and the books that people brought along for the swap, we had a decent tablefull. And World Book Night will still send David’s copies of  Stuart: A life backwards.

About 13 people made it along. David chose not to speak about homelessness, as he didn’t have any copies of  Stuart to give away, so we carried on with my readings and a few words from a couple of people about books they’d brought for the swap.I went home with several books, mainly for my wife.

Here’s my set list:

  • “The First Men on Mercury” — Edwin Morgan
  • “Na Lochlannaich a’ tighinn air tìr an Nis”/”The Norsemen Coming Ashore at Ness” — Ruaraidh MacThomais/Derrick Thomson
  • “Notations of Ten Summer Minutes” — Norman MacCaig
  • “The Meisure o a Nation” — from The Ambulance Box
  • “Tonguefire Night” — from The Ambulance Box

I enjoyed mixing my work with others’; I haven’t done that for a very long time. I particularly enjoyed reading Robert’s poem; the book only arrived on Friday, but I’d read the poem on his website. I’ll blog more about Human Shade at a later date.

There have been mutterings about the giving away of books on World Book Night. I completely understand that, but I also feel that an initiative that brings together strangers and people who don’t one another terribly well to celebrate and share a love of books is definitely positive. (I may be biased, of course, as two people also bought my book on Saturday!)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/03/2011 22:09

    So pleased you read this poem, Andrew. Honored, really.

    • Andrew Philip permalink
      07/03/2011 22:41

      It was a privilege to be able to, Robert.

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