Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Share the Books

Have you ever read a book that inspired you? 
Read a book that brought tears to your eyes? 
Read a book that got you to take action?
Read a book that turned your life inside out? 

Have you ever given someone a gift for no reason but to inspire them? 

I read that on Facebook the other day, and was instantly gripped, not only because my answer to all those questions is Yes, and I am passionate about books, but because that was the introduction to a piece asking for people to take part in a "Share the Books" flash mob. And being in a flash mob is on my bucket list.

A Flash Mob is a large group of people who gather “spontaneously” in a public place, perform an unusual act then quickly disperse. My favourite examples include the Hallelujah chorus in a mall food court and this dance from Liverpool Street Station because I go there often and would have loved to see it. It's not always singing or dancing however. It might be something as simple as freezing in place for four minutes or a spontaneous pillow fight.

"My" flash mob is going to be giving away books that we love. We will all go to Trafalgar Square in London at a designated time, and for a few minutes we will read books which are special to us for some reason, or have meant a lot to us. Then, at a pre-arranged signal, we will all give our books to a total stranger with a note explaining what the event has been about. And then we all go home again knowing that we have maybe inspired someone else, and certainly enriched their life.

I'm very excited about it, and I'm roping in a few friends to join me. The only question is, which book shall I choose? I have loved so many books. I'm considering Vanity Fair, The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy, Pride and Prejudice, Twilight, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,  Going Postal (Terry Pratchett) and several others. Religious texts are not allowed (it's not a proselyting exercise) so which book would you choose? Which book has changed your life so much that you want to give it to someone else so that it can change theirs?

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