Reaching the hardest to reach

World Book Night is dedicated to reaching out to those who have least access to books and could benefit most from them, by working closely with other charities and delivery partners.

For 2013 we’ve also introduced an institutional application process so that a wide range of institutions can apply directly for books to give to their users.

You can click on the headings below for more information on the various ways in which we're working to get books to the hardest to reach potential readers.



Adult Learners

Audiobooks for the Blind & Partially Sighted

Givers’ stories


Getting books to the Homeless

World Book Night and Crisis Homeless Book Club
World Book Night has been working with Crisis to deliver a book club for the homeless and recently housed since the Autumn of 2012. The initial pilot term was a huge success and saw many Crisis members returning each week to share their thoughts and opinions on the 2012 WBN books.

The Book Club is attended by up to 26 Crisis Skylight clients, who come to discuss a different book each week chosen by the group from the list of World Book Night titles. The sessions have been designed to cater for a range of reading abilities, by incorporating a strong audio element and providing book club attendees with the opportunity to engage in individual, paired or group reading.

Operating as a book club in reverse, Crisis Skylight clients are introduced to the books through a variety of channels such as pre-reading and discussion, listening to audio books and watching film adaptations, and all are given the book to take away with them at the end of the session. The book club takes place in a relaxed and informal environment so that attendees can freely discuss topics and themes related to the books and leave the two hour session feeling inspired to read the book in their own time. Many of the attendees have limited or no access to books and at the start of the fourth session one person said that the previous week’s book was the first that they’d read in twenty years. 

You can read more about our experience of running the book club in our blog.

For website


We’re currently looking to roll out the Homeless Book Club across more of the Crisis centres and to other homeless shelters and organisations. If you’re from an organisation that might be interested hosting a World Book Night homeless book club please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sending books into prisons

Since we launched in 2011, WBN has worked closely with delivery partners Lemos & Crane to send packages of books into prisons so that prisoners and staff can all join in the World Book Night experience.
We also work with Prison Reading Groups to ensure that our books are being made the most of once inside prison walls.

Click here to read our 2012 prison report

Working with Lemos & Crane we have also been able to distribute through their networks focusing on the following key areas:

Care homes / Sheltered housing: distributing full sets of all the World Book Night titles to care homes across the UK

Social Housing: distributing bulk quantities to social housing landlords to distribute amongst their tenants

Supported Housing: distributing bulk quantities to sheltered housing projects across the UK to encourage shared reading experiences

Hospitals: Provide sets of books for patient libraries in hospitals throughout the country

Reaching Adult Learners

For the first time ever the World Book Night 2013 list includes a fantastic Quick Read by Andy McNab and we’re working with NIACE to ensure that literacy practitioners and institutions have access to our books in order to engage people with lower literacy levels and demonstrate to them how wonderful an experience reading a book can be.

Quick Reads sets out to challenge these beliefs and to show that books and reading can be for everyone. Each year Quick Reads commissions big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. They are the same as mainstream books in every respect but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills.

Providing books for the blind and partially sighted

World Book Night has worked with the RNIB to create and distribute audio book versions of the WBN titles given by blind and partially sighted people.

In 2012 World Book Night’s partner programme with the RNIB saw the distribution of 5000 copies of the World Book Night titles through the RNIB’s networks.

Via our Givers

Of course many of our volunteers choose to give their books to the hardest to reach within their own communities. You can read some of their stories here.

On World Book Night

When Jamie Byng told me about World Book Night, I was amazed not only by its magnitude but by its simplicity. The love of writing, the love of reading – these are huge gifts. To be able give someone else a book you treasure widens the gift circle. I was thrilled to be asked to support World Book Night, and doubly thrilled that The Blind Assassin was chosen to help launch it. Long may its voyage be!

Margaret Atwood

In your country

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The 2014 Books

The 2013 Books

The 2012 Books

The 2011 Books

The World Book Night Book Club

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