General Questions about World Book Night
What is World Book Night and what happens on the night?
Volunteering and taking part
World Book Night internationally
World Book Night joining The Reading Agency
If you're looking for World Book Night US please click here.
To find out more about World Book Night please visit: What is World Book NIght? or Why is World Book Night important?
Q. What is World Book Night?
A. World Book Night is a celebration of books and reading held on April 23 each year which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers give books to people in their communities who don’t regularly read to inspire a love of reading. There are also hundreds of events held all over the country.
World Book Night is celebrated in the UK, Ireland and the USA.
In the UK and Ireland it is administered by World Book Night Ltd but in late 2013 will be becoming part of the Reading Agency.
Q. So what happens on April 23?
On April 23 passionate volunteers in the UK & Ireland gift books in their community to those who don't regularly read and there are hundreds of events celebrating books across the country.
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 15 years ago 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 schoold 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 and more information is available here.
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 How do I take part? page will tell you more.
Q. How do I get involved?
A. You can apply to be a giver.You can celebrate books - read them, give them, buy them. You can attend events, become a library member, tell your local bookshop you love them. But most of all tell everyone you know that you're a reader, you love books and are proud to tell the world!
Q. Do I need to pay to be a volunteer?
A. No. There is no payment for volunteering, though some volunteers do incur extra costs such as in travelling to collect their books and these costs are the responsibility of the volunteer.
Q. I'm 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 get in touch with the Booksellers' Association, Reading Agency or us.
Q. I need help / advice / guidance with my application
A. Please check out our guidelines and tips
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 secondhand and taken from the giver’s shelves or bought specially. Our World Book Night Edition Book Givers give books which have been specially chosen by us and funded by the book’s publisher.
Q. How do you choose the books?
A. You can find the answer 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 WBN 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 3 years of running it and then because of the changes that have come about from becoming part of The Reading Agency. We’re considering past nominations in choosing this year’s books and the new Community Book Giving strand means that any book you want can be given as part of World Book Night.
Q. I want a World Book Night edition, how do I get one?
A. The WBN 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. 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 if happen in as many countries as possible around the world but that's not possible over night. For more information about World Book Night internationally click here. 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 returning the 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 international section of our site here
Q. Is World Book Night going to happen in any other countries? How do I get WBN 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 WBN develops it will expand to other countries. We're always pleased to hear from people who wish WBN could happen in their country but it's vital to have strong committed leading partners in the trade in order to make WBN happen.
Q. Why is World Book Night joining The Reading Agency
A. Since World Book Night started three years ago as an independent charity, we have 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 that 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
Find out more about The Reading Agency
Q. I used to be able to login to the site. Why can't I do that now?
A. When we originally launched WBN 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
Q. Does World Book Night work? Don't you just give free books to people who already read? Don't free books just devalue books? A. In short, yes, no and no. We answer all these questions in a lot more detail and more in our 2012 evaluation.