World Book Night is celebrated April 23 and is a night for old and new readers. This holiday was created to inspire people of all different backgrounds to read more. Every year this holiday is coordinated by The Reading Agency, which is a European charity that helps people become better and more enthusiastic readers. On this day across Europe, books are distributed to those who don’t typically have much opportunity to read. Books are given to people in hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, and care homes for the elderly. People who love books and don’t mind sharing are asked to lend or give out their favorite books in their own communities to help others as well. For the past six years, this holiday has been celebrated in the United States as well. Each year on this day, there has been a recorded 50,000 people giving away over a million books.
History of World Book Night
This holiday was first celebrated in in Europe on March 5, 2011. In 2012, it was moved to April 23, which is the UNESCO International Day of the Book. This day is also the supposed birth and death day of one of the greatest writers of all time; William Shakespeare. This holiday was the brainchild of Jaime Byng. It was the result of a round table discussion at the 2010 Book Industry Conference. The purpose of this conference was to find new and inventive ways to encourage adults to read more. The name of this holiday is a variation of a very successful holiday for children in Europe called World Book Day. The year 2020 will be the tenth celebration of World Book Night.
How to Get Involved!
World Book Night can be celebrated by anyone! Here are four easy ways to celebrate:
The easiest way is to simply read a book on April 23rd! Join the global conversation and connect with other readers by using #WorldBookNight on your preferred social media site.
Share your books! You can do this in a variety of ways. You could create a local book club to share and connect with other book lovers on this holiday and throughout the year. You could also hold a book themed party to celebrate your favorite book (Gatsby themed party anyone?). Books also make great gifts to friends and loved ones and in doing so you'll be able to share the experience of your favorite book with someone else. Reading doesn’t have to be expensive and you can celebrate this day by joining your local library and having all the books you’d ever want to read for free.
Book Swaps are also a wonderful way to celebrate. You can hold a book swap in a variety of locations including work, home, and your library. Simply ask everyone to bring a copy of a book they’d like to share and let the swapping begin. You might just find your new favorite book.
Go Local! Support your local bookshop by buying a book in April. Local businesses can also use support and you might just find your new favorite place to shop in the process. There are also a variety of independent booksellers to buy from on the web if you don’t have a local bookshop.
Everyone can get involved on World Book Night, so go out and find your new favorite book today!