FAQs

You can read answers to our most frequently asked questions here, which we've divided up into the following categories:

 

 

About World Book Night

What is World Book Night?

About World Book Night internationally

About the books

 

Individual Givers

Delivery queries

Your application

Collection points

Giving away your books

 

Institutional Givers

Delivery queries

Your application

 

Community Book Givers

 

Libraries and Bookshops

Delivery and collection queries

 

Events

 

About World Book Night

If you're looking for World Book Night US please visit their site.

Q. What is World Book Night?
A. World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books which takes place on April 23. It sees passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.

World Book Night is celebrated in the UK, Ireland and the USA.

Since autumn 2013 World Book Night in the UK and Ireland has been run by The Reading Agency.

Q. Why is World Book Night joining The Reading Agency?
A. Since World Book Night started in 2010 as an independent charity, it has always worked with partners to make World Book Night happen. The Reading Agency was a founding partner, and has worked very closely with World Book Night each year. Joining formally with The Reading Agency is a natural progression for World Book Night, which will allow us to continue to celebrate books and reading in our local communities and to put books into the hands of the third of adults in the UK who don’t read.

Read the full press release.

Q. So what happens on April 23?
A. On April 23 passionate volunteers in the UK and Ireland gift specially chosen World Book Night edition titles in their community to those who don't regularly read and there are hundreds of events celebrating books across the country. Since 2014 we've also introduced an additional way for people to get involved as Community Book Givers.

Q. Why April 23?
A. April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, chosen in honour of Shakespeare and Cervantes who both died on April 23 1616 (and it was also, probably, Shakespeare's birthday).

In the UK World Book Day is an initiative to encourage children to read and engage with books and it is celebrated on the first Thursday of March each year. When World Book Day was first launched in 1997, April 23 was chosen as the date but the shifting Easter holiday meant that it regularly fell within the school breaks and so the celebration date was moved to March to enable schools to celebrate World Book Day as effectively as possible.

Q. What are givers, and what do they do?
A. Givers are volunteers who are passionate about reading and have signed up to give books on or around April 23 to those who don't regularly read within their communities. For 2014 there are two different ways for people to volunteer - either as a World Book Night Edition Giver or as a Community Book Giver.

About World Book Night internationally

Q. How can you call it World Book Night when it's only happening in a few countries?
A. World Book Night is named as a result of World Book Day. We'd like to see it happen in as many countries as possible around the world but that's not possible overnight. And just because your country doesn't have a formal World Book Night structure it doesn't have to stop you celebrating the day by giving books. The idea of giving books on April 23 started in Barcelona to celebrate San Jordi day and the tradition sees all men giving their ladies a rose and all ladies responding with a gift of a book (we think the men get the better half of the deal).

Q. How do I find out more about WBN in the USA?
A. Just visit the US World Book Night website http://www.us.worldbooknight.org

Q. Is World Book Night going to happen in any other countries? How do I get it to happen in my country?
A. Making World Book Night happen takes commitment and passion from across the reading industry. We've been in discussion with a variety of potential international partners and hope that as World Book Night develops it will expand to other countries. We're always pleased to hear from people who wish World Book Night could happen in their country but it's vital to have strong committed leading partners in the trade in order to make it happen.

About the books

Q. Who pays for the books?
A. There are two types of givers. Our Community Book Givers choose and supply the books they give themselves. They can be new or second-hand and either taken from the Giver’s shelves or bought specially. Our World Book Night Edition Book Givers give books that have been specially chosen by us and funded by the book’s publisher.

Q. How do you choose the books?
A. For 2014 the books were selected by an expert editorial committee. Read more about the selection process here.

Q. Why was there no public nomination for books this year?
A. In the past we’ve asked the public to nominate books they’d like to see featured on the following year’s World Book Night list, but we didn’t do that this year. Primarily this was because we wanted to have the time over the summer to fully evaluate the programme after three years of running it. We considered past nominations in choosing the 2014 books and opportunity to get involved as a Community Book Giver means that any book you want can be given as part of World Book Night.

Q. I want a World Book Night edition book, how do I get one?
A. The World Book Night editions are intended to be given to people who don't regularly read so there is no way of getting an edition just because you want one. We know that some people like to collect our books and particularly when they're by their favourite authors, but we'd ask you to respect the spirit of World Book Night and our aims.

Q. What will the books look like?
A. The World Book Night books are specially printed editions featuring a photograph of the regular paperback edition as their front cover. As well as the book’s content they feature some information about World Book Night, a special bookplate page at the beginning and a short extract of another book chosen by the author at the end. Each book also includes a poem by a Foyle Young Poets Prize winner. 

We have created bookplates and stickers for World Book Night Community Book Givers to place on the books they have chosen to give away.

 

 

Questions for Individual World Book Night Edition Givers

Delivery queries

Q. I’m collecting The Humans by Matt Haig but it hasn’t arrived yet – what should I do?
A. This title was the last to arrive at our distribution warehouse from the printers, and so was in the last batch to leave for delivery. Don't worry, though! You will get your books before World Book Night. They are due to arrive at your collection point this week between Tuesday 15 and Thursday 17 April, and we'll email you once we know they are ready for you to collect. Please check your collection point's opening hours and confirm that your books are with them before heading out to pick them up.

Q. Can someone else collect my books for me if I can’t get to the Collection Point?
A. Yes, just give them a copy of your confirmation email and they can collect the books on your behalf

Q. When will my books be ready to collect?
A. Your books should be with your Collection Point now, however, we would suggest you contact the library or bookshop before you travel to confirm the books will be available

Q. I can’t remember where my Collection Point is
A. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name, postcode and contact details and we will check this for you

Q. I can’t remember which title I am collecting
A. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name, postcode and contact details and we will check this for you

Q. I went to my Collection Point and my books were not there – what do I do?
A. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name, postcode and telephone number if you would like us to call you back and we will check this for you. We will aim to respond within 24 hours on working days

Q. I need to change my Giving plans on World Book Night – do I need to inform someone?
A. No, as long as your new plans still fit with the aims of World Book Night then you do not need to inform us of your new plans (unless you want to)

Your application

Q. Why haven’t I received an email telling me whether or not I’m a Giver?
A. All UK & Ireland applicants (individuals and institutions) who applied to be World Book Night Edition Givers were sent an email on February 23. If you haven’t seen an email from us, please check your spam or junk mail folder. If you haven’t heard from us but definitely applied please email us forwarding your application confirmation email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If you registered as a Community Book Giver you are automatically accepted when you register, so you would not have received an email on February 23. 

Q. I can’t remember what I wrote in my application, how do I see it?
A. We sent you a confirmation email containing all the details of your application. Please check your inbox for an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If it isn’t in there please check your junk mail folder and add us to your address book for future communication. We’re sorry but we are not able to send it to you again.

Q. The book you have allocated me was not my first choice, can I change it?
A. We’re afraid that it is not possible for us to change your book choice once it has been allocated. If you don’t wish to give the book we have allocated you, you can withdraw by unsubscribing from our emails.

Q. Can you tell me why my application wasn’t successful?
A. We had nearly 15,000 applications from individuals and institutions to take part in World Book Night this year, which is amazing! However, there simply aren’t enough books for everyone, so the successful applicants were the ones who best explained exactly how and where they would reach people who didn’t regularly read. Applications are rejected when it is clear to us that our books will not be reaching our target audience. Anyone who applied to give their books to regular readers will have been unsuccessful in their application. After World Book Night we will share some examples of best practice to help with the process for next year.

Q. What’s the difference between a World Book Night Edition Book Giver and a Community Book Giver?
A. This year there are two options for volunteering. As in previous years we’re still looking for tens of thousands of participants but there are now two ways to take part. Our What is a giver? page will tell you more.

Q. What happens now I've been selected?
A. You should have chosen your collection point by March 4. We'll keep you up to date on news between now and April. We'll let you know in mid-April that your books have been dispatched so you can collect them from your chosen collection point. We'll also let you know about any exciting events happening in your area.

Q. My email address has changed since submitting my application, how do I let you know?
A. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with both the email address you applied with and your change of email and we will update our records.

Q. I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to take part – what do I do?
A. We are very sorry to hear that you no longer want to take part in World Book Night. Please let us know as soon as possible by unsubscribing here.

Collection points

Q. When will my books be ready for collection?
A. Your books will be delivered from our warehouse to your chosen collection point between April 9 and 10th. They should be available for collection from Friday April 11th. We will email you when they are ready for collection. We’re afraid that we can’t arrange for individual books to be delivered any earlier or to different locations.

Q. What’s the latest I can collect my books?
A. If you don’t collect your books by 5pm on April 23 we cannot guarantee that they’ll continue to be available for collection. We are advising all collection points that any uncollected books after this time can be distributed by them. If there is a reason you can’t collect your books before this time please get directly in touch with your collection point. This year we will be registering the names of those who haven’t collected their books and this may affect your chance of being a giver in future years.

Q. How many books do I get to give away?
A. Each giver gets 18 copies of the book that they’ve been allocated.

Q. How will my books be delivered?
A. All sets of books are delivered in individual boxes of 18 copies and sent to your chosen collection point by Yodel, our distribution partner. They have labels with your name and book choice but no other personal information. The sizes of the boxes vary slightly depending on the length of the book but each box can be easily carried by an able bodied adult. Please contact your collection point if you wish to enquire about nearby parking; many may also be able to offer you bags to help you easily carry the books.

Q. Why do I need to choose a collection point?
A. We deliver all books for givers to a local bookshop or library from where you must collect them before World Book Night.  If you don't choose a collection point you won't be able to get your books. Bookshops and libraries are vital community reading hubs and incredibly important. Each year thousands of bookshops and libraries across the country sign up to take part in World Book Night inviting our wonderful givers to collect their books from them.  Without these participating bookshops and libraries World Book Night would not be able to happen because we simply don't have the resources to deliver hundreds and thousands of books to individual addresses.

Giving away your books

Q. I’m excited but also nervous about giving my books away; can you give me any advice?
A. Please see our information for givers page for tips and advice on being a giver. Nearer the time we’ll be providing more tips and some additional resources to help you make the whole process go as smoothly and enjoyably as possible.

Q. Do I have to give my books away on April 23?
A. We ask that books be given away on or around April 23. If there is an event taking place (whether specially organised or something like a football match) either the few days before or after that you wish to give your books away at then that’s fine but we ask that giving which can be done on April 23 is.

Website

Q. I used to be able to login to the site. Why can't I do that now?
A. When we originally launched World Book Night we wanted it to be as interactive as possible. But we now know that many of our users never used this functionality or found it confusing or frustrating. To offer all users the best possible experience we've reverted to a much simpler site. If you want to interact please use our facebook or twitter.

 

Questions for Institutional World Book Night Edition Givers

Delivery queries

Q. I can't remember which books we were expecting to receive - what shall I do?
A. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name, postcode and contact details and we will check this for you

Q. Our books haven't arrived yet - what shall we do?
A. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name, postcode and contact details and we will check this for you

Q. I need to change my Giving plans on World Book Night – do I need to inform someone?
A. No, as long as your new plans still fit with the aims of World Book Night then you do not need to inform us of your new plans (unless you want to)

Your application

Q. I need to change the details of my application – how do I do this?
A. If you need to change any of your contact information, please click the link in the email we sent on February 23, which should appear beneath your delivery address, or let us know as soon as possible by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q. I applied from an institution and have received fewer books than I was expecting, why?
A. The number of applications we received was well in excess of the books we had available. To ensure as many institutions as possible could be involved, most places were given fewer books than they requested. We’re sorry for any frustration this may have caused but we do have a limited number of books felt it was better to get fewer books to more people than to limit the number of beneficiaries of World Book Night.

Q. Can you tell me why my application wasn’t successful?
A. We had nearly 15,000 applications from individuals and institutions to take part in World Book Night this year, which is amazing! However, there simply aren’t enough books for everyone, so the successful applicants were the ones who best explained exactly how and where they would reach people who didn’t regularly read. Applications are rejected when it is clear to us that our books will not be reaching our target audience. Anyone who applied to give their books to regular readers will have been unsuccessful in their application. After World Book Night we will share some examples of best practice to help with the process for next year.

Q. Why haven’t I received an email telling me whether or not I’m a Giver?
All UK & Ireland applicants (individuals and institutions) who applied to be World Book Night Edition Book Givers were sent an email on February 23. If you haven’t seen an email from us, please check your spam or junk mail folder. Please note – if you registered as a Community Book Giver you are automatically accepted when you register, so you would not have received an email on February 23. If you haven’t heard from us but definitely applied please email us forwarding your application confirmation email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Q. When will my books be delivered?
A. Your books will be delivered from our warehouse to your institution during the first week of April. Please make sure that the staff likely to receive the delivery know it is coming, as failed deliveries cannot be sent out again.

Q. Do I have to give my books away on April 23?
A. We ask that books be given away on or around April 23. If there is an event taking place (whether specially organised or something pre-existing) either in the few days before or after that you wish to use to give your books away then that’s fine but we ask that wherever possible, book giving is done on April 23.

Q. We’ve changed my mind and no longer want to take part – what do we do?
A. We are very sorry to hear that you no longer want to take part in World Book Night. Please click the link in the email to withdraw from the process, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your details as soon as possible.

 

 

Questions for Community Book Givers

Q. I’m a Community Book Giver – how can I get hold of Community Book Giving materials?

A. Community Book Giving materials should be available from your local library or branch of Waterstones, or you can download your own from our website

Q. What’s the difference between a World Book Night Edition Book Giver and a Community Book Giver?
A. This year there are two options for volunteering. As in previous years we’re still looking for tens of thousands of participants but there are now two ways to take part. Our What is a Giver? page will tell you more.

Q. How do I become a Community Book Giver?
A. Anyone who is willing to give away at least one book that they provide can register as a Community Book Giver on our website: https://www.worldbooknight.org/2014-community-form. Everyone who registers will be accepted, and registration is open right up until April 23.

Q. Why haven’t I received an email telling me whether or not I’m a Giver?
A. If you registered as a Community Book Giver you are automatically accepted when you register, so you would not have received an email on February 23.

Q. Can I give away more than one book?
A. Absolutely. We are asking all of our Community Book Givers to pledge to give away at least one book, but of course if you would like to give away more books that would be amazing.

Q. Can I give away any book I like?
A. One of the great things about being a Community Book Giver is that you choose the book you want to give away. This means it can be a book you are passionate about, and one you really think will appeal to the person you are gifting it to. That being said, we would ask you not to give books that are explicitly or overtly religious or political, and to bear in mind the suitability of the title and its recipient in regards to sexual or violent content. Also be aware of the age of your recipients, and please make sure that if you give a book to someone under the age of 16 that a parent or guardian is present.

Q. Does it matter who I give the books to?
A. Whether you are a World Book Night Edition Giver or a Community Book Giver, we want you to try to make sure that your books go to someone who isn’t currently a keen reader. This may be because they have never enjoyed reading, or find it difficult. It may also be that they have lost the love of reading, owing to their busy schedule or change of lifestyle, and you want to remind them of what they have once enjoyed. Finally, please make sure that if you give a book to someone under the age of 16 that a parent or guardian is present.

Q. Do I have to give my books away on April 23?
A. We ask that books be given away on or around April 23. If there is an event taking place (whether specially organised or something like a football match) either the few days before or after that you wish to give your books away at then that’s fine but we ask that when possible, book giving is done on April 23.

Q. If I’m providing the book myself, why do I need to register with World Book Night?
A. We want you to register as a Community Book Giver so you can be part of the World Book Night community. You can also then get specially made stickers and bookplates for your books from libraries and bookshops. By knowing how many people are involved, and what they are planning to do, we can inspire even more people in the future to reach out even further in their local communities. Anyone registering by March 31 will be entered into a prize draw for tickets to the Letters Live event at the Southbank Centre in London on World Book Night.

 

Questions for Libraries and Bookshops

Delivery and collection queries

Q. Do I need to contact customers to tell them their books are ready to collect?
A. No, all Givers will be told that the books are ready and you are not expected to contact them

Q. Who do I give the Community Book Giving materials to?
A. Anyone who visits and tells you they are a Community Book Giver can receive bookplates (and stickers if you have them) – please note, these materials are for people giving away their own books, not for people giving away World Book Night editions

Q. What do I do when someone comes to collect their books?
A. Please check the box as well as the customer’s confirmation email to make sure the name of the customer matches the book title they were expecting, and then simply give the books to them and wish them a happy World Book Night!

Q. Do I need to ask for identification before giving the books to a customer?
A. Customers should have their confirmation email (either a physical printout or a digital version) that they can show you. However, some will not, so please use your best judgement when giving out books. Bear in mind some people may be collecting books on someone else’s behalf

Q. Not all the boxes of books I was expecting for customers have arrived – what do I do?
A. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the details you have and we will check this for you. Please note – deliveries of The Humans were the last to arrive at the distribution centre and are expected to arrive between Tuesday 15 and Thursday 17 April

Q. I am a registered collection point – how can I find out more information about what to expect?
A. Please visit our information for bookshops and libraries page and if you can’t find the answer to your query there, please email the Reading Agency via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q. I would like to register as a collection point for this year but have missed the deadline. Can I register now?
A. No, we’re very sorry but we are no longer able to register anymore bookshops or libraries as our Givers have already begun selecting their chosen locations. If you would like more information on registering for next year please visit our information for bookshops and libraries page.

Q. I am a bookseller or librarian, how do I find out more information?
A. Please look at our page of information for bookshops and libraries and if you have any other queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Q. How many boxes of books will be delivered?
A. Each Giver gets a single box of books, so it will depend on how many Givers there are in your area. In the past the average has been 5 boxes per library, but with larger numbers of books going direct to institutions this year we anticipate this may be a little lower. We will send out a list detailing the Givers for each collection point on March 21.

Q. When will the boxes be picked up?
A. All the deliveries will go out in early April. We will then alert Givers that their books are ready to collect. Some Givers will visit straightaway to collect them; others will leave it until the last minute. You can make direct contact with your Givers yourself if need to, using the contact details we will provide you with in the Giver lists. Our system doesn’t allow us to know if there have been any delivery issues, so in a small amount of cases Givers may come in to collect books that haven’t yet arrived. This happens with less than 1% of deliveries, although we understand that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for anyone involved.

Q. Can library or bookshop staff take part in World Book Night?
A. Anyone can apply to be an Edition Book Giver or a Community Book Giver, including library and bookshop staff, and the library or bookshop may be the destination you choose to give out the books. Libraries and bookshops can also apply as an Institutional Givers. However, World Book Night books are to be given to individuals so cannot be used to add to library stock.

Q. What do I do with the Community Book Giving packs that you’ve sent me?
A. The Community Book Giving packs contain World Book Night A3 posters, as well as sheets of book stickers and bookplates for Community Book Givers. We ask you to put the posters up somewhere they will be seen by lots of people, and to make the stickers and bookplates available to Community Book Givers who come in to collect them. You can also download the poster to print of and display.

 

Questions about events

Q. How do I find out if there are any events going on in my area?
A. Have a look at the events page of our website to see the events listed by region.

Q. Where are the flagship events this year?
A. The flagship events are in London's Southbank and the Library of Birmingham. Find out more on our website.

Q. I want to host an event for World Book Night; do you have any tips or resources?
A. We would love for you to have a World Book Night event, and to share your stories of the event with us. We have created an event briefing for people, to give them some ideas and links to useful information and resources.

Q. Do I have to have my event on April 23?
A. Although ideally events would be held on the evening of World Book Night itself, we know that the event you’re planning might need to be a different time or day. As long as it is held close to April 23, and is clearly linked to World Book Night, that’s fine with us!

Q. How can I share stories from my World Book Night event?
A. You can email stories and pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , share them on our Facebook page or on Twitter #WorldBookNight.

On World Book Night

Reading is still alive – in better health than ever, actually – and World Book Night proves it. To be included as one of the 25 titles is a real thrill.

Lee Child

In your country

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Books

The 2014 Books

The 2013 Books

The 2012 Books

The 2011 Books

The World Book Night Book Club

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