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World Book Night is Changing…for the Better

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wbn2017World Book Night 2017 has just launched and is heading in an exciting new direction. The organisers have listened carefully to feedback and are changing the way they do things in order to ensure their books are reaching the people who need them most.

This year, they are going to be working more closely with organisations to match the brilliant list of books donated by publishers with new readers. We want to give books to these targeted audiences, aligned with The Reading Agency’s work with adults and young people:

  • Adults with low literacy levels or who don’t read for pleasure
  • Isolated and vulnerable older people
  • LGBTQ groups
  • Men and women of all ages in UK prisons
  • Parents and vulnerable pregnant women
  • People with mental health issues
  • Young people who don’t read for pleasure

Books will be distributed to these groups through World Book Night’s brilliant community partners, including public libraries, as well as care homes, youth centres, colleges, prisons, mental health groups and other charities.

In a survey of givers who took part in World Book Night last year, when asked how else they could encourage reading for pleasure, the most popular response was from people who said that they would like to give a book that they own to an infrequent reader. Others said they would like to help an infrequent reader join the local library, or buy a new book to give away.

This year, WBN want you to tell them which books you’re going to be giving to share your love of reading on World Book Night. Become part of their Goodreads community of reading enthusiasts and record the books you’ve chosen to inspire a love of reading in others.

The varied titles to be given to the different organisations include books from publishers large and small, and have been chosen with the needs of these audiences in mind. Books include the bestselling memoir The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink, modern classic Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi , Polari Prize winner The Good Son by Paul McVeigh, bestselling colouring book Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta as well as novels by Lucy Diamond and Ann Cleeves, whose Quick Reads titles were included in last year’s giveaway.

This more targeted approach to the next World Book Night, which takes place every year on 23 April, will be celebrated with events in libraries, bookshops and other community settings nationwide. It builds on the work already done by The Reading Agency since it began running World Book Night in 2013.

Publishers have so far donated the following books:

The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam, (Canongate),
Payback by Kimberley Chambers, (Harper),
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves, (Pan Macmillan),
A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan, (Orion) Quick Reads,
Streets of Darkness by A. A. Dhand, (Transworld),
The Beach Café by Lucy Diamond, (Pan Macmillan),
Faded Glory by David Essex, (Head of Zeus),
Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo, (Penguin General),
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding, (Vintage),
The Traitor (Carnivia Trilogy) by Jonathan Holt, (Head of Zeus),
False Nine (Scott Manson series) by Philip Kerr, (Head of Zeus),
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan, (Hodder & Stoughton),
Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence, (Hachette Children’s),
Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta, (Pavilion),
The Good Son by Paul McVeigh, (Salt),
One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell, (Hodder & Stoughton) Quick Reads,
Wonder by R. J. Palacio, (Penguin Random House Children’s),
The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink , (Pan Macmillan),
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, (Vintage),
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, (Penguin General),
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley, (Harlequin),
The Missing by C. L. Taylor, (Avon),
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen Aged 83 ¼ – Anonymous (Michael Joseph),

Further titles from Simon & Schuster, Little Brown and Mills and Boon will be announced shortly. As well as this giveaway through organisations, The Reading Agency will continue to encourage individuals to gift their own or newly bought books and record this via a newly created Goodreads community. The charity will also work with the wider business community to help extend the reach of World Book Night through an employee volunteering offer.

Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive, The Reading Agency says: “Our aim with World Book Night has always been to reach and develop new readers. This new approach, developed in consultation with our publisher, library and author partners, will make us better able to do so. Working with our community of enthusiastic readers as well as businesses, we’re excited about being able to get brilliant books to those who haven’t yet encountered them.”

Bernadine Evaristo, whose book Mr Loverman has been donated by Penguin Random House, says: “This is a fantastic book promotion scheme that provides a great opportunity to introduce a range of literature to new audiences. I’m delighted to be a part of it.”

After World Book Night 2015, 80% of recipients who said they previously never read or read less than once a month said that they had read more since World Book Night. After the 2016 event, a follow-up survey gleaned further positive results; 99% of recipients said that they were pleased to have been given a World Book Night title as a gift. 72% had already recommended the book to someone else, while 47% had gone on to buy more books and 37% had borrowed more books from the library.

What can be better than getting people reading?

Find out more information about how World Book Night 2017 will work.

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