This weekend sees the kick-off of Independent Booksellers’ Week, a fantastic national celebration of independent bookshops, which runs from 18 to 25 June.
It’s all about recognising the special contribution that these bookshops make to local communities and to people’s reading, offering a passion, knowledge and range of books that some of the chains can’t match. This year, the week also includes National Reading Group Day on 25 June, which marks the flourishing trend for book groups in the UK, and the often strong link these groups share with their local independent bookshops. There will be advice on making contact with an established reading group, setting up your own, and ways of getting the most out of relationships with booksellers.
We’re very happy to support both initiatives – and equally delighted that National Reading Group Day in particular will support the work of Book Aid International by encouraging Meet Talk Give events within Reading Groups! With the help of independent bookshops around the UK, and the support of local reading groups, we’ll be changing more lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
If you’d like to find out more about Independent Booksellers’ Week or National Reading Group Day, check out their website, follow @IndieBookWeek on Twitter, or check them out on Facebook.
During the build-up to World Book Day, we heard from lots of you who were surprised how easy it is to make a difference by supporting Book Aid International.
The idea that it only takes £2 to send a book overseas really seized imaginations – especially when you consider just how it can change a life. Take 14-year-old Rukia, a regular reader at a library we support in north-east Kenya. She told us, “I want to be a doctor when I leave school. My parents died from tuberculosis when I was six. I hope they would be proud of me.”
So now that World Book Day and World Book Night are over, there’s an easy for you to continue supporting literacy in sub-Saharan Africa if you would like to do so: it’s the Reverse Book Club!
For just £6 a month (that’s about the same as three weeks’ Sunday papers), you can send three books, each of which will benefit a community more than you can imagine.
As Michael Palin, a keen supporter of Book Aid International, told us, “One of the things I’ve found on my journeys is the thirst to learn more about the world, and this is one sure way to help people get more out of life. Each and every book sent gets read over and over again – changing thousands of lives.”
If you’re interested, find out more and join the Reverse Book Club.
Louise, who writes a lovely blog called Sew Scrumptious, got in touch to tell us about her book group’s Meet, Talk Give.
Louise writes, “I have to admit to having a slight hangover the next day after a few glasses of vino”, although their chosen book “was enjoyable but not mind blowing in any way.”
Still, it sounds like a very sociable way to raise £12! Thanks to Louise and her friends, Book Aid International can send six more books to sub-Saharan Africa.
We’ve been hearing a few more stories about interesting things you’re up to for World Book Day. One of them is Tweet Talk Give, a Twitter version of our own Meet Talk Give activity that anyone can join in with.
If you’re planning something for World Book Day, we’d love to hear about it!
Inspired by news of Zoe’s librarithon from the other day, we thought we’d update you about ways to take Meet Talk Give into your local library.
- Set your date at the library, and tell your book group or enthusiastic library-goers about the book you’ll be reading. Allow enough time for everyone to borrow from the library and have a read!
- Tell people about the fundraising element. In some countries it can take up to a month’s wages to buy just one book…yet it costs you and me just £2 to send a book to sub-Saharan Africa through Book Aid International.
- Hold your Meet Talk Give. You can extend the event with our bookish quiz, if you like.
- Collect your funds, either in person, or using a site like JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving. If you’re doing it online, your funds will go straight to us. If you’re doing it in person, you can use our return form to help us keep track.
So that’s it! There’s a reading list you can use to help, if you like. Whatever you decide to do for World Book Day, you’ll be making a massive difference.
Professor Suleiman Gulaid, president of Amound University in Somaliland, even told us: “Your donation of books…is directly contributing to the re-establishment of the culture of peace, the restoration of civil society and the rule of law in this part of Africa.”
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog about Book Aid International
and World Book Day, you’re a book lover. OK, it’s not 100% scientific, but the odds are fair.
That’s why we’ve created Meet Talk Give
to help make fundraising for World Book Day really fun and easy for you to do.
Meet Talk Give is a fun way to bring your book group or a bunch of friends together to chat about a book you’ve all read, and make a difference. All you need to do is take a small donation – we’ve suggested £2 each because that’s how much it costs to send one more book to a community that will really appreciate it. Our how-to guide
is ready for you to download, and breaks it all down into small steps. It’s easy:
- Choose when, where and who Start with a date and a venue (the sofa? the pub?), and let your friends know.
- Don’t forget the book! Just in case you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve included some recommended reads. They might help you think about how your support for World Book Day makes a difference.
- Collect your funds Let your friends know their contribution in advance and gather the funds as they arrive. You could always use an online collection site as well, such as JustGiving,Virgin Money Giving or one of the many micro-donation services.
- Send it in We’ve included a handy paying-in slip for you to use, and instructions on how to return the money.
So it’s as easy as that! We’ve even included a book quiz for you to build in extra fun to Meet Talk Give. How many will you get right?