World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April. In 2018, the programme’s eighth year and its fifth at The Reading Agency, we saw 42,160 books donated by publishers given away in prisons, homeless centres, hospitals, colleges, public libraries and other organisations with the aim of more closely reaching and engaging people who don’t regularly read. This year, there was research undertaken to look at ‘book-block’ in the British public. A press release was produced that had significant media coverage.
Results from a follow-up survey to both organisations and receivers show an overwhelmingly positive response to World Book Night:
“It was, as always, very well received. Anything that promotes the joy of reading and offers a free, interesting book to this troubled community is a highly positive event. Poverty is a major problem within this community so a free event relieves the pressure and doesn’t discriminate against anyone. Reading and access to books should be available to all and this event helped to achieve that and highlight the magic and powerful benefits of reading for pleasure; survival during difficult times and self-development” – Seacombe Library, gave The Detective’s Daughter
“I find it a great scheme and have found the titles recommended very good reads. The scheme has introduced me to a wider variety of authors I hadn’t read and that has given me the confidence to recommend more authors” – World Book Night 2018 recipient, received Satellite
“It was nice to be able to give the offenders a tangible ‘gift’ and it had a positive impact. Many offenders either don’t read for pleasure, or are isolated, so we were able to meet both needs with this initiative” – Derbyshire County Council, gave At My Mother’s Knee
“Perfectly suited our users (young people). It was accessible, had pictures and dealt appropriately with mental health and a whole host of subjects and issues that affect young people and teenagers. It was written in a non-judgemental way” – The Prince’s Trust, gave Open
- 97% of participating organisations rated their experience of taking part in World Book Night as Excellent or Good
- 95% thought that the books donated by publishers in 2018 would help encourage people to read more
- 88% said that either all, most or some of the people they gave their books to were people who don’t read for pleasure
- 94% said that World Book Night was received well or very well in their institution
- 98% of people who received a book agreed that they were pleased to receive the book
- 89% said that they were interested in the book, with 62% saying that they had enjoyed or were enjoying reading it
Read the full report here.