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As some of you might already know, I have been chosen as a giver for World Book Night.  Following the example set by other bloggers, such as Boof @The Book Whisperer and Teadevotee @amused, bemused and confused, I have decided to hold a giveaway on this blog.

World Book Night is a massive event organised for the first time in the UK and Ireland.  To celebrate World Book Day, publishers, authors and other parties have got together to create World Book Night.  For the occasion, one million books will be given on that night (day).  People were asked to choose from a set list a book they would like to share and explain why.  20000 givers were then chosen, each will receive 48 copies of the title.

On Friday night, a public event held at London’s Trafalgar Square will welcome 10000 people to listen to readings from some of the authors.  Margaret Atwood, Mark Haddon, Philip Pullman and many more will be present.  I would have loved to go – I think it will be a fantastic night – but, unfortunately, I reside a bit too far.

I was over the moon to see that The Blind Assassin, written by Margaret Atwood and published by Virago, was on that list.  Margaret Atwood is my favourite author and The Blind Assassin is a fantastic book, which I have shared many times before and will be delighted to share another 48 times on Saturday.  This week, you have thus the opportunity to win one of the copies on this blog.

To win, it’s simple (actually not THAT simple; I like a bit of a challenge!).  Fill the form below with your details and the answers to the following questions (you can find all the answers on this blog and I will be nice and give you a hint: click on Atwood!).  This giveaway is open internationally and will end on Friday night at midnight (GMT).  Good luck!

  • Next fall, a new Atwood’s non-fiction book will come out.  In Other Worlds is a collection of lectures she gave on science-fiction.  In the past, she has published other such books; one being a collection of the Empson lectures she gave at Cambridge.  What is the name of this book?
  • Atwood has published eight collections of short stories/fictions.  Only one of them is a short story cycle or hybrid-novel.  What is the name of its main narrator?
  • Atwood playfully, but very seriously also, revises Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to highlight the debt we owe to the planet.  What is the title of the book in which she does that?

For those of you who have not been chosen, but still would like to share a book on this particular day, an alternative way of celebrating has been suggested.  Although I do not entirely believe the giveaway will affect independent bookshops badly, as has been suggested, I think this alternative World Book Night is a great and fun idea to still take part in the event.  It simply consists of people buying a book from an independent seller and giving it away on that day, thus supporting the book industry.  It has been said that World Book Night could impact negatively on independent booksellers, but I think the event is about sharing your passion for reading and for a certain book and ultimately could increase sales.  I certainly hope that people who receive a book from me will rush to buy more of Atwood’s books!

One last treat for you: a link to a page where you can find interviews of some of the authors featured in World Book Night.

This is my 4th year taking part in the Earth Hour, a global event aimed at raising awareness about sustainability issues.  This year, I have decided to write a daily post during the month leading to the event in order to share some thoughts about the environment and give tips the little changes we can make in our daily lives.  There will also be some guest posts by fellow bloggers who will share their own views on a topic related to the environment.  You can read my introductory post here and access the Earth Hour website here.

I encourage you to comment and share your own tips, ideas and experience.  In the last couple of days before the event I will do a few posts about what readers had to say.  I believe we can learn a lot by sharing!

As the Earth Hour’s symbolic gesture is to turn off the lights for an hour, I thought this would be my first practical tip.  Turn off the light when you don’t need it!

Does this seem a bit too obvious for you?  It is really, yet how many people actually do it?  How many people leave their outside light on all night?  How many people get back home in the evening and turn on all the lights in the house?

I know too well, I used to be like that.  I used to get home and leave the lights on in corridors until I would go to bed, or in the kitchen while something would be cooking in the oven (I doubt the pizza tasted any better because the lights were on).  My boyfriend at the time would remonstrate me, but I used to ignore his remarks thinking that it would not make a difference.

But it does!  Imagine if we all kept only the light in the room we are in turned on.  We can already see the savings made during one hour with the Earth Hour, so the difference could be huge if we were to do that every day.  Then, maybe offices and shops would follow the movement and turn off their lights when they are closed.  Hotels and other such places might use timers rather than having lights on all the time.  We, as individuals, can make those small changes.  They are not insignificant; they add up and might have a much bigger impact than we expect.

By taking part in the Eath Hour in 2008, I realised that.  It was a bit of an effort at first and a conscious gesture.  I would often forget to turn off the light and had to go back to do so, but it soon became a habit and now I don’t even think about it.  Most of the time it is just laziness when people don’t turn off the light, but honestly how difficult is it to lift up your hand and press the switch?

And why not replace your bulbs with the eco-bulbs as well?  They are now much more affordable than they used to be and they have also improved the light coming from them, which used to be an issue for me as I found it very difficult to read with them.  They do last longer, utilise a lot less energy and are recyclable.

I have already done these changes and thought about what other changes I could make.  Then, I noticed that in my study there are two lights controlled by only one switch (badly conceived!) and I really use only one of these.  I have just taken off the bulb of the second one – it is useless and just a waste of energy – and got a little lamp instead for when I need light in that part of the room.

Any other ideas of what other “lights” changes I could make?

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