Q: What is World Book Night? A: World Book Night is a night of celebration! Enthusiastic volunteers at libraries, bookshops and other venues give away books and share their love of reading with those who don’t read regularly.
Q: Why do we have it? A: Only 35% of people in the UK read regularly for pleasure and the aim is to get more adults to read. It is the adult version of World Book Day.
Q: Who organises it? A: A charity called The Reading Agency run World Book Night. They say ‘ We are a charity whose mission is to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives. We support people at all stages of their Reading Journey. Because everything changes when we read.’
Q: When is it? A: It is on the 23rd April and has been running since 2011. 23rd April is believed to have been William Shakespeare’s birthday and is also the day he died.
Q: What happens on World Book Night? A: Thousands of volunteers across the UK and Ireland share their love of reading by giving out books to people in their communities who are not regular readers. Libraries, schools, bookshops and other venues hold special events with readings, presentations and author visits to promote reading. Publishers, booksellers, distributors, printers and other people connected to the book trade come together and help to produce the 20 books, selected by a panel of experts, which will be that year’s World Book Night choice of books.
It was fantastic to see open mouths, raised eyebrows and forty staring eyes as I read from sheets of A4 paper (the book is still in production!). There were oohs and ahhs when I was able to show the children a sneak preview of what the front cover will look like as several of the children there had been involved in helping me decide.
There was a quick space quiz, followed by space cookies. Use this recipe for great butter cut-out cookies that are great for making moon, star and rocket-shaped cookies that look the same when you get them out of the oven as when you put them in!
Finally, the children had a go at seeing if they were dexterous enough to be astronauts, by wearing gardening gloves to try and complete jigsaws. Perhaps that’s why astronauts look so clumsy!
For the adult session, Michael Smith came along to talk about his new book, ‘The Debs of Bletchley Park’. He followed the lives of several women, who worked at Bletchley Park and the amazing roles they played in code-braking during the second world war.
Thank you to Jo Green and her team at Woodcote Library for embracing World Book Night, inviting us to share our stories with others and giving away over 50 books to our community to help enthuse others about reading.