One true story from World Book Night

 

A month ago, Daniel Bramley was behind bars reading Martina Cole's The Take, a novel about a father who has just got out of prison. Tomorrow, just days after his own release, the dad-of-three will return to Northallerton prison to leave copies of the book for other inmates to enjoy.

The 35-year-old, released from his local North Yorkshire prison last Thursday, is one of 20,000 "givers" taking part in the second World Book Night (WBN), for which one million free books will be handed out across the UK and Ireland. While Mr Bramley was inside, his mum Maggie, a library volunteer living in Pica, Cumbria, filled out an application for the crime fiction fan to distribute copies of The Take – one of 25 titles being given away tomorrow.

"Ironically, it's about a guy that comes out of prison, and whose wife has been left at home with three young children, but prison obviously hasn't cured him and he goes further off the rails, and his newborn son follows in his footsteps and it leads to a life of crime," said Mr Bramley, who served seven-and-a-half months of a two-year sentence for criminal damage – his "first and last" conviction. "I'm not going to go the wrong way; I'm going the right way forward."

Although he had enjoyed reading as a child, the mechanic stopped when work and fatherhood came along. But while in Northallerton, he worked in the prison library and found it relaxing to read to help pass the time. "If you are reading a good book that you enjoy, you get into the story and temporarily forget where you are really," said Mr Bramley, whose partner Joelle Mitchell participated in WBN last year.

Reading has changed him, he claims, and he is determined to keep it up. "As opposed to going out for an evening and maybe having two or three hours in the pub or whatever, I would quite happily sit at home with my feet up and read a book," said the dad to eight-month-old Kian; Evie, five; and Ellie, eight. "Now I spend a bit of time reading with my two daughters... It's nice to help them, and obviously my son when he's old enough to read."

Like other WBN "givers", who include comedian Stephen Fry, Mr Bramley will hand out 24 copies of his chosen book to whomever he wishes. A further 520,000 books will go directly into UK prisons, hospitals and schools in disadvantaged communities. Last year, 'givers' handed out 960,000 books and 40,000 went to prisons.

WBN founder Jamie Byng, who will give out David Peace's The Damned United (about football manager Brian Clough) at Wormwood Scrubs prison in London tomorrow, said the change in distribution reflected the fact the charity had always wanted to take books into places they would otherwise be less likely to reach. The organisation is collaborating with English PEN, which promotes the freedom to write and read, on a series of visits to prisons by authors armed with copies of WBN books.

There will be hundreds of events marking WBN across the UK, with authors including Cole and Small Island writer Andrea Levy giving readings at a main celebration at the Southbank Centre in London tomorrow night. The mass giveaway is also launching in Germany, where 33,333 people will distribute one million books, and the United States, where 25,000 givers will hand out 500,000 books. Mr Byng, managing director of publisher Canongate, says the concept is "snowballing" and he is confident at least 10 countries will participate in 2013.

But first he needs to concentrate on this year. Today, he is running his first London Marathon to raise money for WBN and is handing out a copy of each of the 25 WBN titles, which include Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, after each mile. On the final mile, he will give away a copy of one of his favourite books, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.

Last year, some independent booksellers criticised the inaugural WBN for giving away books, claiming it could have a damaging effect at a time when bookshops were already facing tough competition from online retailers and supermarkets. Mr Byng said he was sympathetic to the fact booksellers were struggling but claimed it was wrong to say WBN would make things harder for them. He said sales of the titles given away last year rose on the back of the scheme.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette

film
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz