World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books on 23 April that seeks to address this, bringing together a powerful collaboration of national partners - publishers, printers, distributors, libraries, booksellers, private donors, trust and foundations. It sees a huge range of 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.
As well as book-gifting, the encouragement to love reading is spread through hundreds of events that take place to celebrate World Book Night, from small community gatherings. You can find out more on the World Book Night website
"'A single parent house, Mum answers the door, looks harassed and tired... I explain the concept of WBN, she says they don't do books... so no thanks! Behind her is a lad who is about 13 years old, I explain why I am giving away 'Touching the Void', and how it inspired me to climb Mt Blanc the highest mountain in Western Europe. He asks his mum could he have it? She says yes... A young lad gets given a book by a guy he doesn't know just because of a 90 second flash of inspiration... thank you World Book Night, you have changed someone's world tonight!"
World Book Night facts
Since 2011 almost 56,000 volunteers have given books to millions of people on World Book Night.
23 April is UNESCO International Day of the Book and also Shakespeare's date of birth and death.
The name took its lead from the well-established and successful children's reading celebration in UK and Ireland called World Book Day. So as day is for children, then night is for adults and night is also when we traditionally think about celebrations.
One in six adults struggles to read. Reading Ahead supports young people and adults who struggle with the written word or who don’t read for pleasure. Reading Groups for Everyone celebrates all the good things that happen when people come together to share reading and Reading Well supports people's health and wellbeing. Because everything changes when we read.