Books for your eyes only

Chris Berry, who is leaving 48 copies of John Le Carre's book The Spy Who Came in From the Cold on benches for World Book Night
Chris Berry, who is leaving 48 copies of John Le Carre's book The Spy Who Came in From the Cold on benches for World Book Night

The town hasn’t been taken over by spies, but is taking part in a countrywide book giveaway.

As part of BBC World Book Night, more than a million books will be handed out free across the country.

As part of a 20,000-strong nationwide team, Chris Berry, 44, will leave 48 copies of John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came In From The Cold hidden around his home town, Mytholmroyd.

He will cover the books in brown paper and label them “For Your Eyes Only” before leaving them as a “drop” for lucky recipients to track down.

“I’ll leave them on benches, bus stops, anywhere I can really,” he said.

Chris saw the scheme advertised on TV and had to explain why he wanted to give the book away.

“It’s a classic novel but I’ve never read the book so I thought it would make me read it before I give them out,” he said.

“In our current ‘conspiracy era’ with films like the Bourne trilogy and Bond, and TV series like Spooks, the book seems as relevant now as when it was written.”

He plans to video people finding the books and make a YouTube video of the would-be spies hunting out their parcels.

More than 20,000 people become ‘book givers’ for the night.

John Le Carre said: “No writer can ask more than this, that his book be handed to thousands to people who might otherwise never get to read it, and who will in turn hand it to thousands more. That is beyond his most ambitious dreams.”