World Book Night 2015


This year for World Book Night, we decided to have a ‘Mystery Book’ shelf in the foyer, in order to tempt students with the unknown…

Staff members chose various books, which were then put into envelopes and given elliptical, alluring descriptions without giving away the title (scribbled on the front in various coloured felt-tips…).


If the description appealed to the student, they would take the book (in it’s wrapper) to the front desk or self-issue machine, and later discover their choice; an existential novel, a book about the meaning of art, or asylum inmates…


Starting off slowly, the shelf turned out to be popular with only three books remaining out of about twenty (Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, with its bleak description of ‘the desperation of poverty’, as well as a crude drawing of a skull and crossbones, was unfortunately left).

The shelf showed that if preconceived notions or expectations of a book are suspended by hiding its title, then people are more likely to be interested and pick it up. It also showed that our students, as well as being interested in art, are interested in literature, too.

If you would like to read more books like the ones available on the ‘Mystery Books’ shelf, why not browse the fiction section on the mezzanine level of the Library? There is plenty of wonderful literature there waiting to be read…


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