This morning I posted a link to my Facebook page about the government cuts. It was an article about how lots of writers have voiced their anger over the cutting of the ‘Booktrust’ programme. Booktrust is/was an excellent scheme which gave every single newborn child free books. In the pack parents got a wee booklet about how to read with their child. The books were brilliant as well. Ana loved her pack. Then when they got to primary school they were given another pack with another couple of high quality children’s books. It meant that everyone in the country could have books in their house. For me it meant Ana being in a library well before I would have signed her up initially. For other people it simply meant having books (brand new, good quality books) in their house. But that’s all been cut for a measly 13 million, which is pocket money for the Goverment.
So while we’re protesting about this and getting angry about it (and we should be. If you’re not aware how much money the Government wastes on box ticking schemes which don’t help anyone, but make them look good, then let’s have a chat some time. It is outrageous that they should cut something so directly useful as Booktrust) , here’s something else you can do to get good books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have them.
Support World Book Night in the UK and Ireland and sign up to be a giver. If you are selected you will be given a pack of 48 books to give away on Saturday 5th March 2011. It takes 5 minutes to sign up. Read more about it here. You have to sign up before 4th January. Seems like a very worthwhile thing to me and if you care about literature and literacy it might stop you going mad when you watch the news.