Alumni - Brianna Corbett - MA Publishing

I decided to be part of the inaugural World Book Night in November 2010 when I saw a few friends posting the link on Facebook (yes, social media marketing works). I filled out the application and browsed the selection of 25 books chosen by a spectacular committee led by James Naughtie. The authors included Margaret Atwood, Kate Atkinson, Toni Morrison, Sarah Waters, David Mitchell, Yann Martel, Mark Haddon and more. It was hard to choose! I wrote my Major Project book for the Brookes MA on how marketing and design work together to add to and create a cultural landscape. During the research phase of this project, I was lucky enough to attend The Bookseller's Book Cover Design Conference at the British Library in June, where I got to hear from professional cover designers, marketers and editors on the subject of design, from practicalities to social understanding. One title stood out that summer and its cover was praised. That book was One Day by David Nicholls.

Naturally, I loved the cover. Just months later I chose that book for my World Book Night specifically on the merits of its cover. I'd never read a review or heard anyone mention reading it. I'd never read the book! It just looked good. A few days before I actually heard from the World Book Night organizers that I had been chosen as one of 25,000 givers, I made the 'mistake' of purchasing One Day on my Kindle. At least I read it before I handed the books out. Reading it allowed for greater readership targeting capabilities as I meandered through Cornmarket Street and Jericho in central Oxford, passing the books to random strangers and wishing them happy reading.

To see my World Book Night experience in pictures, head over to the blog for the World Book Capital bid, run by Oxford Inspires.

It was a great evening of fun and I do love seeing people thrilled by the prospect of a new read.

The idea of World Book Night is absolutely brilliant: one million free books shared over the course of one night. One Day indeed. More like One Night, promoting reading and fiction to the world at large (I even mailed a few books to the US).  The night was bookended by a huge launch event in Trafalgar Square the night before and by another massive free event at the Southbank Centre, where authors came to read and share their love of the written word. Thousands of people showed up to Trafalgar Square and it's been given the title of the world's largest literary event in history. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to either historical event. Instead, I worked locally, spreading my love of One Day (it made me cry) and picking up a few free books from other local givers and the Waterstone's World Book Night party where I picked up Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, plus some free wine.

Each special edition was printed with information about World Book Night and assigned a number which allows the book to be traced to the original giver as the idea is that these books, being free, should be shared and passed around as much as possible. So in the future if you find yourself with a ragged, well-used copy of One Day given on World Book Night 2011, check the number online - I hope it's from me!

More people should be involved next year as this movement is really a worthwhile and ambitious way to spread the love of reading. Plus, it's just fun! My World Book Night experience will not be forgotten and you'll see me as a giver again next year.

Happy reading, everyone!

Posted on 06 May 2011 around 8am