The Book Fairies on BBC World Service

Our fairies have made the news!

The Book Fairies are delighted to have been featured on BBC World Service, which is an audio production available around the world. You can click here to listen (our bit starts at around 18m50s) or watch the video below. We’ve also included the transcript of the piece!

The Book Fairies feature on BBC World Service

BBC World Service Presenter Nick Miles: Now, sounds like a strange question, but when was the last time you found a book? In countries all around the world there is a community of people who give away books anonymously by leaving them around public places for anyone to find. Our reporter Harry Bligh has been getting chapter and verse…

Birdsong …

BBC Reporter Harry Bligh: I met Cordelia in Regent’s Park in central London. She runs The Book Fairies

Book Fairy in Chief Cordelia: We take a book and we put a book fairy sticker on, and the book fairy sticker is green and white and it has the book fairies’ logo, and it says take this book, read it and leave it for the next person to enjoy. It also has our hashtag which is #ibelieveinbookfairies, which is of course a nod to Peter Pan. I’ve also put in a little bookmark that says FREE BOOK at the top. The joy about these bookmarks is that when the book finder opens up the book, they’ll also find some stickers in there and some instructions about how to be a book fairy themselves! So it’s joyous.

Harry: The Book Fairies started five and a half years ago and since then, it’s become an international community…

Cordelia: Last time I roughly counted it’s around seventeen thousand people around the world

Harry: Seventeen thousand?

Cordelia: Yeah, I know! They are hiding these books! We’re talking about five hundred thousands books or more have been hidden as a result of The Book Fairies

Idaho Book Fairy Malina: I’m Malina Yeager and I’m from Idaho. I took it as this secret oath that I couldn’t tell anyone that I was a book fairy, so I didn’t even tell my husband!

Odisha Book Fairy Sweta: This is Sweta and right now, I’m in a small village near Darjeeling. I was interning as a bookstore manager and these folks introduced me to book fairies Kolkata…

Lincoln Book Fairy Stacey: I’m Stacey, and I’m from England and I became a book fairy after seeing my favourite book The Handmaid’s Tale being left by book fairies. One of the things I love most about it is seeing the reaction that people have when they find a book…

Harry: and these reactions, seen from a distance, appear to be a familiar experience for book fairies all over the world…

Malina: We were in Harry Potter world, we left the book and turned to find this little girl holding up the book and just screaming in delight and it was such an incredible thing to watch.

Harry: Cordelia told me about some of the other projects The Book Fairies do as well as giving away novels and literature to strangers

Cordelia: We have been working with this community organisation in Uganda, and most recently it’s been so exciting, they’ve got a grant from the government in Uganda for this large space of land to build a new library, so we’re currently supporting them in that!

Harry: The Book Fairies have special events too, where they drop books that have a common theme

Cordelia: This [Simon James Green, You’re The One That I Want) is a book that we hid as part of book fairies with Pride this summer, we have a Pride sticker and a hashtag that is #BookFairiesWithPride. We will hide books by authors that resonate with the them but also novels that feature those characters. We do many themes throughout the year and there are so many to mention. We do Black History Month in February and October because we’re worldwide.

Harry: Our final book drop was on a tree on the edge of a field where children were playing football

Cordelia: That will be gone very quickly!

Harry: I think so too, so you’ve got a bright blue book [R J Palacio, Wonder] with a green sticker and a big red ribbon

Cordelia: A big red ribbon yeah, like a gift for Christmas, so, there we go!


Presenter Nick Miles: That report was by Harry Bligh

If this report has made you want to join in the magic, then you can order your official stickers here to get started!

Find out more about the Uganda library

We are proud and excited to be supporting the building of a new library in Uganda, after partnering with the organisation there for almost the entire time we’ve been around! You can find out more and choose to donate on this JustGiving page here. If you’d rather make a bank transfer, all of which would go to our partners in Uganda, please email for the details.

Would you like to be a book fairy?

Here are some things to get you started on your book fairy journey!

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