Michael Joseph is supplying a free copy of Jojo Moyes’ new novel to every library that wants one to mark the start of Libraries Week.
The Giver of Stars is Moyes’ story of the real packhorse librarians of Kentucky, following five women from different backgrounds who are brought together in a tiny rural American community.
Moyes explained: “The communities the packhorse librarians served were initially sceptical of their intentions. But as they delivered books, they also taught people to read: they read to children and the sick, and even educated women on the workings of their own body. As they did so, they built up trust and affection. People began to realise these women were performing a valuable public service, because what do you have if you don’t have reading?”
Moyes’ editor and Michael Joseph’s publishing director of fiction, Maxine Hitchcock, added: "The work libraries do is such an important part of the publishing industry and of our collective effort to bring powerful words and stories to as many readers – old and new – as possible. But they are also a valuable - vital- resource within communities and we wanted to acknowledge this by offering a small token of support - a copy of Jojo’s new book - to all libraries across the country.
“Jojo’s novel shines a light on the value of reading and how it can enrich our lives, and so we wanted to make a gesture that we hope both acts as a thank you to our libraries and readers who use them as well as a tribute to the original packhorse librarians who inspired The Giver of Stars.”
Libraries Week runs from 7th to 12th October and, this year, focuses on the work libraries do on improving digital skills and engaging people through technology.