Among the writers taking part in WBN events this evening is Alexander McCall Smith (he'll be at Edinburgh Cental Library at 7pm), and he had this to say about the mass giveaway:
"In a world that sometimes seems over-burdened with conflict, World Book Night stands out as a precious beacon. It has two messages: one is that reading is sheer joy and the other is that the act of giving is intrinsically good..."
I am pleased to see that the majority of the books given away tonight will go to prisons, shelters for the homeless, hospitals, community centres and so on - if those books open eyes, light up minds and brighten lives in some way, that will be a great thing.
I can't let the evening pass without having my own giveaway, so I have bought two copies of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, one for myself (because despite having seen the film twice I have never read the book!) and the other to send to a Cornflower Books reader. Please do throw your name into the hat for this, even if you've already read the novel or have a copy on the shelf because in that case, and in the spirit of World Book Night, you could pass it on to someone else. Everyone is free to enter, no matter where in the world you are, and to do so just leave a comment on this post naming a book which is of particular importance to you - it doesn't have to have changed your life, although perhaps it did in some way, it just has to be special to you for one reason or another (and you don't have to give the reason if you'd rather not). The draw will be open for a few days, so please do have a go.