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10,000 books to give away...

Now come gather round… Get your award-winning novel as part of the biggest mass read ever.

Published on January 12th 2007.

10,000 books to give away...

Books. They may not be everybody’s idea of a free gift. Sure, it’s not a Caribbean cruise or a weekend at a spa, but if knowledge is, indeed power, then perhaps a free book is going to be more of a long term aid in taking over the world?

As part of a national mass reading project being launched in Liverpool, 10,000 of us can bag a free book as part of Liverpool's big culture drive for next year. Now don’t we all love those thoughtful 08 people now?

Small Island, by London-Jamaican author Andrea Levy (pictured), is the chosen text for the huge reading project which starts on January 11 at Central Library (William Brown Street) and as well as receiving a free copy of the book, a lucky selection of you will also get to hear Ms Levy recite from the multi-award winning tome. Those who get down there promptly enough will even be able to blag some free Jamaican food (like this here). Those who don't can pick up their own free copy of Small Island (winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread Novel Award, the Orange of Oranges Prize, and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize) at all Liverpool libraries from today (Jan 11) and some Merseyside libraries. Oh, and they can spot a car-booter a mile away.

The story tells of the arrival of black Jamaican immigrants – the descendants of enslaved Africans – in post-war Britain. It coincides with the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of British Slavery, something that is particularly poignant to Liverpool having been a major player in the eradication of slavery.

Liverpool City Council leader, Cllr Warren Bradley said he hopes “the project goes from strength to strength over the coming year”.

Of course the old cliché insists you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. It was Charles W. Eliot (prizes for knowing who he is) who once said, “books are the quietest and most constant of friends and they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors.

I think what Mr. Eliot is saying here, is that basically, books are more trustworthy counsellors than councillors.

It was once said (by someone in Wikipedia) that a home without books is like a body without a soul. That should be enough for all you spectres out there to head down to the library and buy back your souls. In fact you won’t even have to part with a penny for the privilege. Then again was your soul really worth much anyway?

There are fewer than 60 launch tickets left, but 10,000 books are available. You can pick up your free launch ticket from Central Library (William Brown Street), Childwall Library (Fiveways) and Norris Green Library (Townsend Avenue) and vouchers for the free books will be available from the 11 Janurary.

Contact Bea Colley on or email her by clicking here to get involved.

Ben Patey

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