Hurray, I love book giveaways! My friends over at Harper Collins wrote to let me know that Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare : The World As Stage is now available in paperback and asked if I would like to review it. “Already did!” I happily responded.  “Loved it.  Recommend it to all my friends.  But I’ll happily give some away.” They agreed, and we came up with a contest.  Since I originally described the book as one of the few (only?) Shakespeare books that I have let non-Shakespearey friends borrow, I proposed a “One to keep, one to share” contest.  Three winners will be chosen at random to receive *TWO* copies of Bryson’s book, in paperback.  One for you, and one for you to giveaway to someone.    (You can also buy the book directly from these retailers if you really have to have it!) To enter, all you need to do is comment on this post and tell us who you’d give the book to, and why.  A friend, a relative?  Donate it to a school?  Something else?  BONUS!  Continuing on the sharing theme, let’s say that you get an entry in the drawing for the comment you leave, and also for any other friends you can get to come enter the contest and let us know who sent them.  Got that?  So let’s say that user catkins posts a comment and says “I’d donate a copy to the local library.”  And then Angela comes along and says, ‘”Catkins sent me.  I’d give a copy to my coworker Rebekah.”  Angela gets an entry for her comment, and Catkins gets two – one for his comment, one for introducing a friend to the contest. (Got it?  Too complicated?  You can do it, I have faith.  Don’t hate me for trying to draw some new traffic 😉 If I’ve left anything unclear in the rules please let me know ASAP so I can update this text, thanks!)   Contest ends Jan 31, so  you’ve got two weeks to get your friends to play along.  NOTE that in order to win I’ll need to a) reach you to let you know you’ve won, and b) get a mailing address where to send the book.  Certainly we can’t enforce that you really give away the second copy, that’s up to you.  Please also note that the books will be coming directly from the publisher, Harper Collins.   Thanks again to Danny from Harper Collins for the offer, and helping me work out the rules of the contest.  With that, let’s get started and spread some Shakespeare love around!


  1. I work for a library system (we’re like the librarian’s library), so I’d give the extra copy to one of the libraries in our system. I could even build my own little contest around it (update your online listing- first one to do so gets a free book!)

  2. I would give one to Stephen Booth and keep the other one in the archives at Shakespeare Center. So really, I’d end up giving one physically away while keeping another’s content constantly available to educators and students. I think that’s pretty cool.

  3. I’m going to be sort of unoriginal and say I’d give one to my mom. She loves Bryson but is sort of tentative about Shakespeare. Basically, she needs a good starting point, and I think this would be a really good one for her.

    Tim, fridayafternoonintheuniverse at gmail dot com

  4. I teach at a Maryland high school. We’ve done some work with Bryson’s books with our contemporary novels unit, and the kids always love them. I’m also currently in the middle of my new performance-based Shakespeare unit. I would keep one for myself, and give the other to the student who has the best final performance.

  5. hello hello,

    i work at an english academy in seoul, and have introduced some of bryson’s books on the english language to my korean co-workers. they love him, and his books have facilitated great conversations that they find interesting and educational for their own english skills. so, i’d keep one for me and give one to a particular teacher and do a little book-club type meeting/discussion as we work through it, as he loves shakespeare but obviously as a non-native speaker finds him quite difficult!

  6. I would keep one to read, & give one to my school's drama department. Unlike the Big State School down the road from us, we don't have a full-on drama library, just the shelves of our professors & some older books (hard to get to) locked up in our greenroom, but I would LOVE to start a drama library collection that we could just waltz in & borrow whenever we wanted. I'd start with something fun & light but good, like this book. 🙂

  7. I would give the extra copy to my 15-year-old niece, who is a big Shakespeare fan and an aspiring Shakespearean actor.

  8. I would give this book, to the woman who introduced me to Shakespeare. She has truly changed my life. being introduced at the age of 9 almost 10. I have truly loved it for almost 5 years now. As a career I would like to teach Shakespeare theater and direct at a university. Thank you Keri.

  9. I’d give a copy to my sister-in-law. She has a book in her hand at all times no matter where she is. She would absolutely love to have a copy, as would I. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.


  10. I’d give my copy to the school where I teach. I hear far too many complaints each year from teenagers encountering Shakespeare for the first time, and if anyone could get past that veneer of teenage apathy, it would be Bill Bryson.

  11. I would give a copy to my son – so he is prepared. There are often comments made regarding the multiple author theory, the Globe theatre, the living conditions of the period, etc. and a thinking person needs to be armed with the facts. This book provides them.

  12. I’d give the second copy copy to a teacher I know who claims that Shakespeare is too difficult to teach in schools today. And if she didn’t take it, I’d give it to one of the beggars on the street — he might be able to trade it in for a cup of coffee.

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