BOOKSELLERS are offering children a World Book Day gift of a pound;1 voucher for the second year running, but they are keen not to lose too much money on the deal.
The vouchers can only be used to buy a book (or audiobook) if it costs pound;2.95 or more. They will also be distributed through four newspapers owned by News Internation, publishers of The TES.
The exception to the pound;2.95 rule is the pound;1 Book of Books 1999 (both children's and adult versions) which has been sponsored by the book trade for the event on April 23.
Last year some bookshops made heavy losses in the 10 days of the scheme, and others decided not to participate. Generally, smaller bookshops make a loss on a sale of less than pound;4.99.
Vouchers can be exchanged by adults or children, but the general aim is to introduce children to the pleasures of choosing and owning a book.
As last year, school bookshops can only accept the vouchers if their supplier is taking part. The Booksellers' Association (272 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1BA, tel: 0171 834 5477) has a register of those that are.
Fourteen million vouchers will be sent to schools (including nursery classes) for distribution to four to 18-year-olds, starting next Tuesday. The mailing includes a pack with posters and activity sheets.
Vouchers will also be distributed in The Times, The Sunday Times, the Sun and The News of the World between April 23 and May 3.
Email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 01634 290175, or see the website on www.worldbookday.com 8 News TESJFEBRUARY 19 1999 neil turner How do you decide? Children from the Clapham Junction nursery school in south-west London attended the launch of supermaket chain Asda's books and libraries promotion earlier this month