World Book Night Goes Digital for 2020

10 December 2019

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The Reading Agency today announces the titles that will feature on the World Book Night 2020 booklist.

World Book Night is the annual celebration of reading on 23 April aiming to inspire everyone to share books and reading, whether they are less confident or passionate readers. It is a key part of The Reading Agency’s mission to support everyone in reading their way to a better life and using the proven power of reading to promote skills and learning, health and wellbeing and build social connections. This year will see an expansion of World Book Night’s digital offer as The Reading Agency seeks to make reading available to the widest possible audience.

This year’s titles, from publishers including Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and Andersen Press, include a diverse selection of books for adults and young people. This year’s list features both paperbacks and audiobooks, with North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, Double Crossed by Brian Wood and Bedtime Stories for Stressed Out Adults edited by Lucy Mangan available for individuals to receive via an exclusive download code. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (which is celebrating a significant 42nd birthday in 2020) will be donated as both a paperback to organisations and an audiobook to individuals.

Other titles on the list include Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s first novel), How to Be a Footballer by Peter Crouch, and Diversify by June Sarpong, as well as two Quick Reads that will be published in February 2020. You can view the full list below. Copies of the books will be donated by publishers to organisations across the UK. Applications for the giveaway are now open.

Celebratory events will be happening across the country in April 2020. The Reading Agency will be working with public libraries, prisons, colleges, care homes, youth centres, mental health groups, charities and other organisations to spread the joy of reading. Partners including Libraries Connected, the Booksellers Association and library suppliers will ensure as wide an impact as possible across the UK. Ideas on how you can celebrate World Book Night yourself can be found at worldbooknight.org where free resources can be downloaded.

World Book Night 2020 Titles

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Pan Macmillan)
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press)
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (HarperCollins)
The Dead Ex by Jane Corry (Penguin General)
How to Be a Footballer by Peter Crouch (Ebury)
Practical Zen: Meditation and Beyond by Julian Daizan Skinner (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton (Little Tiger)
Darkness Rising (Quick Reads) by A.A. Dhand (Transworld)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin Press)
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (Penguin Random House Audio)
The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle (Hachette)
Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan (John Murray Press)
The Little Dreams of Lara Cliffe (Quick Reads) by Milly Johnson (Simon & Schuster)
Bedtime Stories for Stressed Out Adults by Various, ed. by Lucy Mangan (Hachette Audio)
One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus (Penguin Random House Children’s)
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (Vintage)
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (Andersen Press)
East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman (HarperCollins)
Diversify by June Sarpong (HarperCollins)
The Spanish Promise by Karen Swan (Pan Macmillan)
Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur (Walker Books)
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)
Death in the Dordogne by Martin Walker (Hachette)
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (Michael Joseph)
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (Cornerstone)
Double Crossed by Brian Wood (Penguin Random House Audio)

Karen Napier, Chief Executive, The Reading Agency says:

“World Book Night is a fantastic way to encourage emerging and reluctant readers to engage with books for the first time. Every year, with the support of our publisher partners, our book giveaway ensures that people across the UK are able to start on their journey to reading their way to a better life.”

Mike Gayle, whose book has been donated by publisher Hodder & Stoughton, says:

“I’m thrilled to be part of World Book Night. As a child books were my world and rarely a week went by without a visit to my local library. Books fired up my imagination allowing me to experience worlds, times and places that would have remained unknown to me otherwise. It’s a privilege to be part of this project and help spread the news about the awesome power of the written word. Happy reading!”

After World Book Night 2019, results from a follow-up survey showed that 99% of respondent organisational givers rated their experience of being a giver as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and 97% of respondent recipients were pleased to receive their book.

Following World Book Night 2019, one of the participating organisations said:

“We gave our all the books to our young people and to some of them it was like we had given them gold, they couldn’t believe that they had been given a book and many told us this was the first book they have ever owned which had some of us welling up.”

Get involved

See more about the books on the list
Find out how you can get involved in the celebration.
Apply to receive books for your organisation.

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