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This Thursday (7 March 2013) marks the sixteenth year of World Book Day, a worldwide celebration of books and reading observed in over 100 countries across the globe. One of the day’s key aims is to encourage children to read more and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy doing so. This is why National Book Token Ltd sends out millions of book tokens each year.
However, World Book Day’s focus on young people doesn’t stop the rest of us from taking part as well, demonstrating just how much we as a nation love the written word. In fact, here at Fresh Egg we’re so fond of both reading and writing words that we’re holding a competition to see what you can do with them, too.
Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to write a piece of flash fiction, a tiny work of literature that, in the case of our competition, is to be contained within the character-limited confines of a tweet.
The rules are as follows:
The prize will be your choice of a selection of personalised classic books. Have you ever wanted to be the eponymous heroine from Alice in Wonderland or the charismatic Count Dracula? Now’s your chance!
You can view the full terms and conditions here, and the competition ends at 23:59 Monday 11 March 2013.
Online, we read all the time. The production of engaging content is more important than ever in the digital world: the words on your site have to be able to tell stories your target audience want to read, whether they are casual readers, industry peers or prospective clients.
But how many of us actually still read books?
We conducted a poll within Fresh Egg that asked how often staff members read books or ebooks, which yielded some rather interesting results:
With those who do read books in some shape or form clearly being in the majority (although shame on that book-shy 20%), we also asked people in the office what their favourite books were and why…
Sarah Furbank, online content creator:
My favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird because it’s the only book we studied at school that didn’t leave me hating the novel once we finished – no matter how many times we went over the same paragraph or character traits, I still love it.
David Sewell, SEO consultant:
Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hoftstadter. Why? Because it ties music, logic and art together (as they are all the same anyway) in a fun read about tortoises and hares.
Dawn Nicholson, marketing communications manager:
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, because it was our most recent Fresh Egg Book Club book and I thought it was a lovely, touching story.
Steve Jones, SEO engineer:
Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore. He invented a Neolithic language, included a host of local historical characters and deals with the recurring themes of magic, murder, myth and madness that emerge throughout the different centuries.
Laura Ward, director’s PA:
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks because it’s beautiful and tragic and it makes me want to live in France. Also Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins because it’s surreal and hilarious and makes me want to live in the picture on a packet of Camel cigarettes.
Chris Rushton, project manager:
The Master and Margarita is my favouritest book of all time: not only is it beautiful, dark, comic and fantastical all in equal measure, but it has the ability to transport me to a different time and place – both literarily (read the book to find out) and personally.
Mark Chalcraft, SEO engineer:
Not a single book, but the Iain M Banks’s Culture series is among my current favourites – sci-fi on with an incredibly wide scope alongside a theme of dark events within in a perfect society.
Alex Harvey, SEO engineer:
Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer. What it lacks in shades of grey and literary flair it makes up for with thematic significance. It’s a book of consequence: it is both historically intriguing and forward-looking in its vision (it was published in the middle of the Vietnam War).
Dan Wotton, business development manager:
Espedair Street by Iain Banks. This book combines his typically great story telling and brilliant descriptiveness with an out of character upbeat dénouement. It’s uplifting, funny, sad, shocking, sweet, clever, rude, romantic and morbid – I’ve read it many times and the journey through it is always a joy.
Now you know some of our literary heroes, we’d like to hear about yours! What’s your favourite book (or ebook)? Which author can be trusted to move you to tears each time (whether they’re tears of sadness, joy or frustration)?
Let us know for posterity in the comments below.