Number 25 out of 28: This piece is part a Blog Challenge to write and publish a post, every day of the 28 days of February 2015, from Coach and Writer Sandra Peachey – the author of ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’.
Yesterday I received an email, which began:
“CONGRATULATIONS! We’re thrilled to tell you that you’ve been chosen as a World Book Night 2015 volunteer! You will be joining thousands of other volunteers across the country to share your love of reading and inspire others to begin their reading journey.”
I have taken part as a volunteer for World Book Night before, for a number of reasons – not least because I have a love of books and words, which I got from my father (now departed), who read to me every night as a child. As a result I was transported to exciting new worlds and introduced to a host of characters; I learnt and grew my vocabulary: and to this day love where writing can take you, in every sense – allowing you to escape (from the every day), to learn, and to grow, and all this whilst being entertained.
Of course, not every one has had the start that I did, nor have formed a reading practice for what ever reason…
Run by The Reading Agency, World Book Night is celebrated in Britain on 23 April and the Their Website explains what it is all about:
“Reading for pleasure is a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health, yet in the UK 35% of people don’t regularly read.
World Book Night brings together a powerful collaboration of national partners – publishers, printers, distributors, libraries, booksellers, private donors, trusts and foundations – to inspire more people to read. Thousands of volunteers share their love of reading by giving out books to people in their communities who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books. National, regional and local events up and down the country celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives.”
As an avid reader and a published author, my wish is that as many people as possible get the opportunity to receive and read. Every year there are a number of titles that are donated by publishers to give away and when you apply to be a volunteer, you also apply for which particular titles you would like to give out.
The organisers weren’t always able to give everyone their first choice, but did manage to allocate volunteers one of their top three choices. I am delighted to say that I got my first choice and I chose my title for a very specific set of reasons.
So, on the evening of the 23rd of April I will be giving out 18 copies of: ‘Street Cat Bob: How One Man and a Cat Saved Each Other’s Lives. A True Story.’ This is a brand new, ‘Quick Read’ edition of a book I read several years ago called: ‘A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets’.
The book tells the true and uplifting story of James Bowen, a drug addict, busker and Big Issue seller, living off the streets of London, and his cat – a ginger tom called Bob.
When the author found this injured street cat in the hallway of his sheltered housing, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. Soon the two were best friends, and their funny and sometimes dangerous adventures would change both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.
It is an easy and inspiring read, taking you into the world of James and Bob and detailing the slow, not always easy redemption of each of them.
As a reader, writer and cat lover, it was therefore the perfect choice for me, not least because I am currently exploring ‘What Cats Teach Us About Life’ in a series of blogs that I have been posting online this month, as part of a blog challenge I have set myself. My brief is to write a piece every day of the month of February and it has been a fabulous experience, exploring how cats can give us so much pleasure, support and if we choose to see it – learning too.
The serendipity of World Book Night offering the opportunity to be a volunteer (acceptance is not guaranteed); then offering this title (they offer a wide variety of options which are different every year) and then accepting me as a volunteer to give out this particular book, all in this month when I am writing about cats and what they can teach us, is completely perfect and also an opportunity for which I am gorgeously grateful.
Alongside this, I will also be giving away some free copies of my own book ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’, showing how the simple act of writing a letter, can be a healing release that any one who can write, can do…
During March, World Book Night will be releasing details of events across the United Kingdom so you will see more from them, me and the army of volunteers gearing up for the evening of 23rd April.
I now have to decide where and who the books will go to… I live near Coventry in the West Midlands, so will be staying as local as possible. I already have some ideas, but would also welcome ideas for organisations, groups and individuals that would really love the opportunity to start, re-discover or develop a new reading routine. Please feel free to contact me through my blog with any suggestions that you have.
I have three cats of my own of course – so George, Taz and Sophia – whether they know it or not, they are all lending me their support. And this year, as far as I am concerned, four paws is most definitely the way to go…
Watch this space for more World Book Night news…
PPS: A collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a book. I’m completely biased of course, but it makes a ‘purrfect’ present, whether you be a cat lover or no. All of human life is in this gorgeous book – all the fear, light, dark, and of course love, for any one who wants to be entertained and to know that they are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you, even if it isn’t all about cats… You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ from book websites any where in the world, including Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)…