UK supermarket chain Tesco has launched a free ebook giveaway promotion for the Blinbox Books platform that accompanies its Tesco Hudl tablet, launched last year, and its other Blinkbox online content offerings. The title in question is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Blinkbox Books will give away 1000 copies to downloaders on a first-come-first-served basis.

“The novel has been translated into more than 40 languages and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and counting,” runs Blinkbox Books’ introduction. “You know you want to be number 30,000,001.”

To Kill a Mockingbird now occupies the prime slot on Blinkbox Books’ website, with its price marked as free. Blinkbox Books’ choice of this title also picks up on UK education secretary Michael Gove’s controversial proposal to axe it and other American literary classics from the UK GCSE syllabus. “With teachers telling you to read it, then politicians telling you not to, we say never mind all that: read it for you, and for the love of a good book,” Blinkbox Books urges. And whatever the facts of Gove’s actual decision – or not – to kill all mockingbirds on the GCSE syllabus, the story has obviously now passed into popular legend.

According to coverage in The Bookseller, Harper Lee and her publisher will receive the usual proceeds from the 1000 downloads. The book will revert to its usual UK price of £4.99 ($8.54) once the 1000 copies have been downloaded.


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