Emma Watson – former Harry Potter actress, UN Ambassador, HeForShe activist, Beauty and the Beast Disney Princess, and creator of the Our Shared Shelf Book Club – has launched an international project to leave over 1,000 books in public places worldwide in celebration of International Women’s Day. She posted on Twitter: “From midnight NYC time, book fairies around the WORLD will start hiding feminist books to mark #IWD #IWDoursharedshelf @the_bookfairies.”
Watson and her team of “book fairies” have been leaving copies of novels by feminist authors such as ‘Mom & Me & Mom’ by Maya Angelou, ‘Half The Sky’ by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof, ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker, ‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi, ‘How to Be a Woman’ by Caitlin Moran and ‘My Life on the Road’ by Gloria Steinem. The novels have been left in public areas around London and the rest of the UK, as well as in a number of other countries around the world including France, India, Norway, Italy, Argentina, Australia, Canada and Japan. Watson has penned a personal note inside each copy of the novels in which she has selected for her book club.
Originally, the Our Shared Shelf project got started in 2012 as part of the Books On The Underground movement, in which “book fairies” leave their favorite reads at Tube stations for commuters to find and enjoy. The idea is that the books are then returned to the Underground for more readers to pick up.
Cordelia Oxley, who runs the project, said: “I am so excited to see these amazing books popping up around the world. We have a team of international book fairies, New Zealand to Dubai, who are going to share these Our Shared Self books today. This is a great way to mark International Women’s Day and we hope to have a lot of fun with it.”
Watson is renowned for her feminist stance, however she has received a harsh backlash after her topless cover for Vanity Fair that came out last week. She has been accused by commentators of being hypocritical and anti-feminist. But Watson has rebutted these accusations and told the BBC that “feminism is about giving women choice, feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”