The New Cross Learning library in Lewisham celebrated World Book Night Tuesday 23 April. The event promotes reading for pleasure amongst those who do not regularly do so.
Volunteers from New Cross Learning joined in with thousands of others in the UK who had been selected as “book givers”. They provided 80 free copies of Philippa Gregory’s novel The White Queen — one of 20 books shortlisted for free giveaway. About 25,000 copies of each title were gifted across the UK and Ireland.
Visitors from the local community were welcomed with drinks and themed cupcakes baked by volunteer Estafan Ayim, 23.
Local poet Nic McClintock and other volunteers began the celebrations with dramatic readings of a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, topping off by taking turns wearing a costume ruff and cape.
Headlining was “Jazzman” John Clark, another local poet, who treated his audience to a selection of his works from his book, All the way from Kathmandu.
Kathy Dunbar, 57, and Gill Hart, 61, co-chairs of New Cross Learning, praised the free giving of books as something that would bring communities together through the sharing of these books and their enjoyment of the stories within them.
“The idea is that you then pass it on,” Hart said. “It’s just a really nice sort of hands around the world”.