Complementary World Book Night – Book Giveaway! – Updated 28/4/2012

Of course, you know it’s ‘World Book Night’ , so what is ‘Complementary World Book Night’?

Nicola Morgan has blogged about it very succinctly here but, in a nutshell, people are starting to worry that World Book Night is not actually achieving what it’s setting out to do. It’s a very expensive exercise which ultimately only benefits a few (ie: the publishers and writers of the chosen books) and doesn’t actually reach all the ‘non-readers’ out there, or boost much-needed book sales.

‘Complementary World Book Night’ aims to redress the balance and Nicola is urging us to buy a book from an independent book store (who need our sales  if they’re not to go under) and give it to someone who might enjoy it.

And when I was in Chipping Norton on Saturday, I spent some time in Jaffé & Neale’s bookshop (and cafe! Yum) which is one of the Independent’s ‘Top 50 Bookshops in the UK’.

I bought coffee and cake, attended a couple of talks and I even bought two books – so I’m going to play my part and give one of them away to one of you – and no, I haven’t read it! (I know you’re probably all avid readers but at least I’m doing the ‘supporting an independent bookshop’ bit).

I’ll put the following message in the book. “A Complementary World Book Night book, bought and given in the spirit of World Book Night 2012, bought from Jaffé & Neale’s bookshop in Chipping Norton. I hope you enjoy it!”  

So, what is the book?

Well, it’s Louise Harwood’s ‘Kiss Like You Mean It’ which is NOT a slushy chick-litty book, although it might sound like it from the title (she told us during her talk at the weekend that she didn’t want that title but she lost the battle!).

It is a romance but it’s actually about a First World War cameraman – Ambrose March – and mixes the First World War with modern Hollywood glamour, as the novel’s also about the film being made about him.

There’s more information about Louise and the book here, if you want to know more.  I think it sounds like a great read and Louise Harwood is someone I hadn’t come across before I met her at the literary festival last weekend.

So, if you’d like to win the copy of the book (names will be drawn out of a hat – UK residents only please!), then just leave a comment telling me what you’re going to be doing for World Book Night – or ‘Complementary World Book Night’, tonight! (or, if you’re reading this ‘post WBN’, then what you did!)

I’ll draw a winner on Friday 27th April.

PS: Forgot to say – it’s not signed, I’m afraid, because I was dashing to the next event, so didn’t have time to get a book at the end of Louise’s talk. When I came back to the bookshop later, all her books had been shipped off to the next event, across town! They sent a runner to get one for me, but when it came back it wasn’t signed. Sorreeee.

UPDATE: Saturday: we’ve just pulled the winner ‘out of the hat’ (see photo for the advanced technology used…)and it’s Gail Aldwin. Well done, Gail! I’ve left her a message asking for her address and I’ll send the book off on Monday morning.

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20 Responses to Complementary World Book Night – Book Giveaway! – Updated 28/4/2012

  1. Brilliant! Thanks for your support! I just bought two books from The Edinburgh Bookshop. ONe (Chris Riddell’s Ottoline at Sea) is going to a local primary school and the other (Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder) is going to my daughter, who relies on careful recommendations to keep her inspired.

  2. Lauren says:


  3. gailaldwin says:

    Hi Helen, I’m attending the launch of ‘Dorset Voices’ as part of the Bournemouth Festival of Words. I’ll be reading one of my stories (that’s included in the collection) titled, ‘Dusting off the memories’. Further information about the collection can be found here:

  4. Clair Chaytors says:

    Reading The Hunger Games with my two eldest children!

  5. cathaber1 says:

    Hi Helen – I’m giving out copies of Maggie O’Farrell’s novel “The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox” to members of my local walking-for-health group. It’ll be something new to many of them and I’m so glad to have been chosen as a giver. It’s a beautifully written and very moving book.

    • Good for you, Cath. I love Maggie O’Farrell – although my favourite is not Esme Lennox (which I must admit, I found a bit sad…) but ‘The Hand That First Held Mine’ – which also made me cry my eyes out but in a good way (I think!)


  6. aliceinwritingland says:

    Hi Helen, I’ll most probably be reading too! I like Nicola Morgan’s idea very much. I was a ‘giver’ last year (had ‘Case Histories’ to give away by the very wonderful Kate Atkinson) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However, I’ve since felt rather disilliusioned about it as recently, I’ve been spotting World Book Night editions of various titles for sale in charity shops and used book shops! Whilst it’s lovely to buy a book from these places (I do, frequently), I understood the point of WBN to be about giving books to those who wouldn’t normally get a chance to read. There shouldn’t be any buying or selling involved. I have (when feeling assertive) pointed this out to shop staff and at other times have just tutted quietly to myself!!
    Please add me to your very generous draw – thanks.

  7. Nicky Moxey says:

    A chunk of the book got written 🙂 A blue ribbon in an unusual place elbowed its way into a courtroom…

  8. juliathorley says:

    I wish we had an independent bookshop – and the nearest WBN event was 50 miles away! Still, we do have the Althorp Lit Fest coming soon, which isn’t too far away.

  9. Maggie May says:

    Just received Writers’ Forum and read your short story which won 2nd prize. An excellent lesson for anyone wanting to learn how to ‘show, don’t tell.’ Well done. I’m still learning.

  10. sp56h says:

    I was in Chichester for a few days with hubby. We went over to the library to ask about something and was told it was World Book Night (it had slipped my mind) so we stayed on for free nibbles, took part in a fun quiz about authors and I received a free book – I chose The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It was a lovely evening and great to be a part of it.

  11. adelesymonds says:

    I bought 4 copies of Room by Emma Donoghue for my book club members.

  12. Hi Helen, that looks a good book. I gave away a mills and boon to a friend, who was going to pass it on to her circle of friends.

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