Monday, 18 September 2017

Becoming a book fairy, by Tara Lyons

My book fairy journey: The stickers arrived,
the preparation happened and the six places
I left my books in central London on Saturday 16
September 2017.
Today, Goodreads turns 10 and they've celebrated by teaming up with The Book Fairies. Authors and readers were invited to order some special stickers, put them on the front of their books and then hide those books in plain sight for people to find.

I had visited The Book Fairies website before, and loved the idea (you may have read about actress Emma Watson leaving books on London's underground for people to find, well this is the same thing and she is an official "fairy"). So, when I received an email from Goodreads, telling me about their #hideabookday to celebrate their tenth birthday, I knew I had to get involved.

Throughout the year, The Book Fairies website sells stickers, badges, bags and ribbons that you can use with the books you're gifting. I opted for the stickers, as they had a few for Goodreads and also give all the information needed to the person finding the book. I added my own ribbon and placed the books in clear, plastic bags - with London's weather, I couldn't be sure my books wouldn't get soaked! Once I had wrapped and placed stickers on six of my books, my son and I headed to the station and became Book Fairies (a few days early as we had to travel into Central London on Saturday).

Although my son couldn't understand why I was giving my books away for free, we had a great time. We even hung around and watched one book be taken - the man who found it had such a smile on his face, I couldn't help but feel overjoyed. He genuinely looked chuffed that he'd picked up a "hidden" book and kept looking around... but us fairies stayed hidden. I used my author Instagram account to share up-to-the-second updates of where we had left each book - which included train stations, a library, the theatre and a police station. It created a real buzz on my social media accounts.

Inside the book, I wrote little messages - explaining why I'd left my books and how I hoped they'd be enjoyed. I also wrote the official hash tags and my Twitter handle. No-one has been in touch yet, but it's only been two days. And, if I don't receive any messages, I can only hope the books were found by people who will love them - and maybe even share them again. It was great fun and the book fairies are worldwide, meaning if you want to get involved, you can do. And, they don't have to be books you've written - if you're going through your shelves and want to share your favourite book, or need some more space and had been thinking about getting rid of some, this is a great way. Share the book happiness by becoming a fairy too!

3 comments:

Katherine Roberts said...

I saw this on Goodreads and thought it looked a really lovely idea. I have never seen any books left by fairies around here, although I did once find a new copy of 'The Girl on the Train' someone had left among the secondhand paperbacks in the local charity shop bargain box, so I went in and 'paid' the charity for it (which is how I know it wasn't one of theirs)... yours look lovely! I must do this next year.

Tara Lyons said...

Thanks, Katherine. You can do it any time of the year, the Book Fairies website is open all year. But I've also heard of people putting their own stickers on the books... whatever works for you.

Sandra Horn said...

What a wonderful idea! I'll definitely give it a go! Thank you!