Since last Monday, I’ve been giving away copies of the brilliant book, ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue, as part of World Book Night. The story draws from the case of Josef Fritzl and tells the story of five-year-old Jack who is incarcerated in one room with his mother. Ma has done her best to teach Jack through games and stories and he learns about ‘outside’ by watching the television. When freedom arrives, following Jack’s escape, both mother and child have further hurdles to negotiate. Click here for an interesting link to an interactive website.
The aim of World Book Night is to encourage irregular readers back into the reading habit through the giveaway books. The first person I gave a book to was my seventeen-year-old daughter. She doesn’t see books as a source of interest or pleasure but it’s not as though she isn’t reading. She’s frequently glued to Facebook and likes to flick through magazines. It’s just that books aren’t her thing. I doubt that she’ll begin reading ‘Room’ before her A levels, but she might take it on holiday during the summer, if I encourage her.
Other people I offered the book to, found the subject matter objectionable and had no hesitation in declining the book. Some became curious upon reading the cover, where there’s a quote from ‘Scotsman’ comparing the book to ‘The Lovely Bones’ and were thereby encouraged to accept a copy. From my recent experience of hand-selling books in Dorchester, I had thought that giving them away would be easier. But with World Book Day over a week ago I still have one or two copies that require new homes.