We have been involved in World Book Night since it began in 2010 by helping libraries register as pick up points and encouraging them to hold events to celebrate the occasion. This year 2,176 libraries across the UK were involved with World Book Night representing a healthy spread across 95% of the UK's library authorities. Here, Sandeep Mahal, our partnerships programme manager, shares her experiences of celebrating the occasion in Liverpool.
On 23rd April 2013 something magical took place across the country, as thousands of volunteers encouraged those who don't read regularly to do so through the sharing of stories. World Book Night is essentially about the coming together of people, harnessing communities and thrilling conversations, reaching out through the sharing of books.
I saw this extraordinary coming together at the flagship World Book Night event in Liverpool's St George's Hall - the first city to host the flagship event outside of London - where a host of world famous authors, including Jeanette Winterson, Patrick Ness, Jasper Fforde, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Jackie Kay celebrated the third World Book Night and Liverpool's brand new literary festival, In Other Words, launched to celebrate the re-opening of Liverpool Central Library. The event also featured an impromptu Speakers' Corner, a Book Exchange, Poetry Waiters, and a Literary-themed Café.
Introduced by World Book Night founder Jamie Byng and brilliantly chaired by BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid and broadcaster Paddy O'Connell, the audience were enthralled by the author readings, amusing and sometimes moving conversations. The atmosphere was positively buzzing. As well as reading from their own work, all the authors selected a book by another writer that they felt had inspired them and wanted to share with the audience. It was an incredible event and a real joy to witness so many people so fervently passionate about the power of books.
I was perhaps most excited by the exclusive, sneak preview of the stunning new Liverpool central library. I accompanied Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay on the tour. They christened the public performance space by reading from their works. We were so completely in awe of the beauty of the Picton reading room, that by the time we reached the archive section, we'd lost Jeanette in the rare books room!
Libraries have again proved to be the main amplifier for World Book Night. It was amazing to have had so many libraries being focal points for book giving activity on World Book Night and staging such imaginative community events. Libraries' special connection with local communities have inspired more people to get together, get talking and share reading. And seeing a host of top authors in Liverpool's great new library wonderfully spotlights libraries' unique role as engine rooms of reading across the UK.
We'd love to hear your experiences of World Book Night 2013. Email your stories and photos to email@example.com.
If you were a giver or have received a book let us know what you think about the book via twitter (using the #WorldBookNight hashtag) or facebook.