World Book Night is this Saturday! The Book Babes here at DG never want to miss a chance to celebrate and promote literacy, so we wanted to make sure our lovely readers know about this awesome holiday. Read on to find out what it is all about.
When is it? World Book Night will take place on the evening of Saturday, April 23rd, which un-coincidentally happens to be the deathday and probable birthday of none other than the prolific William Shakespeare. This year will be the sixth annual celebration of WBN.
What is it? World Book Night is an offshoot of World Book Day (which already took place on March 3rd). While World Book Day is geared towards children, World Book Night is aimed at promoting and celebrating reading for adults and young adults. Although only officially celebrated in the U.K. and Ireland (there was a U.S. branch, but it announced on facebook in 2014 that it would be suspending operations due to funding), this holiday is relevant all over the globe! On World Book Night, books from a carefully selected group of works are distributed to people who don’t have regular access or interest in books. It is run by a national charity called The Reading Agency. The holiday will be marked by online and local book giveaways, as well as a Gala at the British Library, and author talks and other events, mainly taking place in the U.K.
What difference has it made? According to an article posted last year, 2.25 million people have received books from this organization so far. Of the thousands of those who followed through with surveys and interviews afterwards, 98% reported that they were glad to receive their book, and 80% said of participants said they have read more frequently since participating in World Book Night.
What are this year’s books? A list of 15-25 books are selected every year by the orgnaization’s editorial committee composed of book industry professionals, librarians, WBN volunteers, and WBN staff. They look for works that are “good, enjoyable, highly readable books with strong compelling narratives” in a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and YA. Specially printed World Book Night editions are created of the chosen books each year. Although some avid bookies regard these as collector’s items, the website reminds us that they were created for people who have not yet been fully inducted into the love of reading that we enjoy, and should remain in the hands of those who need them most.
- Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves — Crime, Thriller
- Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose — Non-fiction, Military History
- Perfect Daughter by Amanda Prowse — Women’s fiction
- A Baby at the Beach Café by Lucy Diamond — Quick Reads, Women’s fiction
- Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Series, Book 1 by Leigh Bardugo — Young adult, Fantasy [Check out our review of another of Bardugo’s works, Six of Crows, here.]
- Now You See Me: Lacey Flint Series, Book 1 by Sharon Bolton — Crime, Thriller
- Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary — Crime, Thriller
- I Can’t Begin to Tell You by Elizabeth Buchan — Historical fiction
- Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig — Non-fiction
- Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne — Young Adult
- Whispering Shadows by Jann-Phillip Sendker — Fiction in translation, Thriller
- The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe — Literary fiction
- Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy — Poetry
- Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson — Literary fiction
- Treachery by S.J. Parris — Historical Fiction
How can I get involved? Applications to give out these books in your own community are already closed for this year, but you can register next time around! You can also apply to be a volunteer and help distribute the books (especially if you live in the U.K.) but again, you’ll have to wait until next time. Never fear: you can still register to give out your own books, all the way up until the holiday begins on April 23rd. You can either buy a book or take one from your own shelves, and gift it to someone who needs it, then tell the World Book Night all about it through facebook or twitter.
Will you be participating in World Book Night this year? Do you have any thoughts on the books they chose this year? Let us know in the comments!