Even if you don't win a prize, entering the competition will still have been the start of something awesome. All of the submissions will be turned into a crowd-sourced catalogue of book recommendations covering the last 80 years of beloved literature — so you'll be recommending your favorite book to someone who might love it just as much as you did. Even popular authors have submitted their own nominations: Kazuo Ishiguro picked The Devils by Fyodor Dostoyevsky because "every character [is] bonkers," and William Boyd chose Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, which he described as "unique, mind-boggling [and] hilarious."
If you love reading, listen up: this is the sole most important competition of your life. Heywood Hill, one of London's oldest bookshops, just announced the Library of a Lifetime prize — and it's the most incredible thing you've ever heard. If you follow these simple instructions, you have a chance of winning a newly-released hardback every month for the rest of your life. Like, until you die. Is anyone else screaming with excitement right now?
To win a book per month for the rest of your life, the first thing you have to do is think of your favorite book. It has to be English-language, and it has to have been published since 1936 — which is the year the Heywood Hill bookshop was established. Then just write a quick statement about why you love that book so much, and you're good to go. If you're lucky, you'll win the most amazing prize that's ever existed since time began: a consultation with a personal bookseller to tell them all about your reading tastes, and then a lifetime supply of brand new books.
But even if you don't win the Library of a Lifetime, there are still some pretty amazing prizes up for grabs. Second prize is a very cool book subscription service that gets you a personally-chosen hardback every month for a year, and third prize gets you a new book every other month for a year. It's not quite the same as the lifetime supply, but it still sounds pretty great to me.
Readers from around the world can enter, so there is nothing holding you back from winning a book per month for life, and building the greatest library you ever dreamed of.