Or go to Why is World Book Night Important? or Testimonials
World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers gift specially chosen and printed books in their communities to share their love of reading. World Book Night is celebrated on April 23. In 2013 it is being celebrated in the UK, Ireland and the USA.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: it’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways, through the sharing of stories.
Each year we recruit 20,000 volunteers to hand out 20 copies of their favourite book from our list to members of their community who don’t regularly read. By enlisting thousands of passionate book lovers around the country World Book Night reaches out to the millions of people in the UK who have yet to fall in love with reading in the hope that we can start them on their reading journey. In addition World Book Night distributes 100,000 books through our institutional partners to the hardest to reach potential readers in prisons, care homes, hospitals, sheltered, supported and social housing, the homeless and through partner charities working throughout the UK.
- 20 books are chosen by an independent editorial committee (comprising of passionate experts representing librarians, booksellers, writers and the media) informed by a public vote. The authors of the books waive their royalties, the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the World Book Night editions and contribute to additional core funding
- Bookshops and libraries sign up to be collection points
- Members of the public sign up to be givers, applying to give away a particular title with information on where, to whom and why they want to give their books. Applications are vetted by World Book Night and the original publisher and suitable givers are chosen based on their ability to reach those who don’t regularly read
- The successful givers choose a local participating bookshop or library from which to collect their set of books and WBN’s partner distributors deliver the books to these collection points
- Givers collect their books in the week before World Book Night and inscribe the first page with their name, the name of the bookshop or library they collected them from and a unique identifying number which enables each book to be tracked
- The books are given to those who don’t regularly read within their communities
- Hundreds of events take place across the country on April 23 to celebrate books and reading
- To raise the profile of reading through a mass engagement project which works at a grass roots level to inspire those who don’t regularly read to do so
- To place books into the hands of those who don’t regularly read
- To raise the profile of reading for pleasure through a series of celebratory events
- To improve literacy in the UK and Ireland
- To bring communities together
- Mass, popular engagement at all levels of the project from choosing the books to distributing them and organising event
- Use of individuals as reading ambassadors within their communities
- Incredibly personal, peer to peer encouragement of potential readers
- Grass roots not top down approach to encouraging literacy
- Emphasis on enjoyment not just education
- Use of high quality ‘best in class’ books across a variety of genres to appeal to the broadest range of people, with high production values and high desirability as well as accessibility
- Incentive to continue the reading journey at the point people are most vulnerable to their next read by providing hand-picked recommendations
April 23 is a symbolic date for world literature. It is both the birth and death day of Shakespeare, as well as the death day of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist. It is in their honour that UNESCO appointed it the international day of the book and that we choose it to celebrate World Book Night. April 23rd also marks the city of Barcelona's celebration of St George's Day. St George is the patron saint of Catalonia as well as England and traditionally, to celebrate this day, Spanish gentlemen gave their ladies roses and the ladies returned the favour with a book. Considering the rich literary history of this day, it seemed more than fitting that April 23rd should be chosen as the day of celebrating reading and the giving of books!