Vintage giving away free James Bond books at lunchtime

Today in news so time-contingent you probably can’t even spare the couple of minutes it takes to read this: if you can get to the recently-installed James Bond BookBench in London’s Bloomsbury Square between 12pm and 2pm tomorrow (12/08), you might walk away with a free copy of one of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels courtesy of publisher Vintage. The company, in conjunction with Ian Fleming Publications and BookBench masterminds Books About Town, is marking the 50th anniversary of Fleming’s death with the promotion, with 200 copies of Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the non-fiction collection Thrilling Cities set to be distributed to passers-by over the course of two hours.

Vintage associate editor Clara Nelson tells The Bookseller: ‘It’s a chance for Vintage Classics, Ian Fleming Publications and Books About Town to come together and raise awareness for reading, Ian Fleming as a writer and for Books About Town and a publisher to join together properly and coherently […] We are giving away 200 copies to anyone who passes the bench because we are all committed to improving and raising awareness for reading and literacy.’

Fleming died on 12 August 1964, aged 56, from a heart attack that – as a heavy smoker and drinker – was by all accounts a long time coming. In the eleven years between 1953 and his death, he published ten James Bond novels, the book of Bond short stories For Your Eyes Only and the non-fiction works The Diamond Smugglers and Thrilling Cities. The two years following Fleming’s death saw the publication of three further books: the beloved children’s work Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, the final Bond novel (to be written by Fleming, at least) The Man with the Golden Gun and one more book of Bond short stories, Octopussy and The Living Daylights.

Anyone who can’t make it down to Bloomsbury Square by lunchtime but still wants to experience the vicarious thrill of other people getting things for free can follow the afternoon’s proceedings on Vintage’s Twitter feed.

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