You’ve probably heard of World Book Day; taking place at the beginning of March, children in over 100 countries celebrate books and reading, and are provided with the opportunity to own a new book with a World Book Day token. It enables children to explore the world of books, spark up an interest in reading and of course, dress up as their favourite book character!
But what about a similar event for adults? Well, that’s where World Book Night steps in. Created by Jamie Byng, Managing Director of publishing firm Canongate Books, World Book Night was devised in order to encourage adults to read more; ‘as day is for children, then night is for adults’. Now in its sixth year, World Book Night will be celebrated on the 23rd of April which is both the international day of the book and, fittingly, the day William Shakespeare is thought to have been born, and died, on.
Reading has enormous benefits; it is a mental stimulant, can help to de-stress and improve memory, and of course, provides a wealth of knowledge whilst being a source of entertainment. However, 36% of people in the UK do not regularly read for pleasure – this is something World Book Night is aiming to change.
This year, volunteers will be handing out copies of 15 different titles in a drive to encourage more adults to read. The titles selected by the World Book Night panel this year include a range of genres – gripping crime thrillers, fantasy, and non-fiction, to name but a few. You don’t even need to be a registered volunteer to help; organisers are encouraging people to pass on their favourite titles to friends, family or people within their community, in order to inspire them to ‘begin their reading journey’.
World Book Night extends beyond the 23rd of April, too. There are nationwide events taking place, with award-winning poets and authors, including quizzes, evenings with live music and performances of spoken word, in a bid to spark new-found passion for reading and insight in to the world of writing and the creative process – there is something for everyone.
So, if you love reading and want to pass on your passion to others, or even if you just want to try and read for pleasure more, get involved with World Book Night! You can find more information at worldbooknight.org.