23 April: World Book Night – what you need to know #WorldBookNight

World Book Night 2021

Join in to celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, hosted by The Reading Agency in partnership with Specsavers.

World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more.

The Reading Agency

Tonight is World Book Night and there’s plenty to interest the avid and the not-so-avid reader. I hope the information here will ensure that you have lot’s of fun and enjoy your World Bokk Night. The links to tonight’s live events are below. There are lot’s of ways to get involved and things that have been happening in the lead up to tonight and they can be checked out through these main sites.

World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency and celebrated each year on 23 April, the UNESCO International Day of the Book. Since 2011, organisations and individuals have held events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives. Organisations can volunteer to hand out books from our annual list to people who don’t read for pleasure or own books. Find out more at www.worldbooknight.org.

The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading, and over 2019/20 it reached 1.8 million people. The Reading Agency works closely with partners including libraries, publishers, prisons, schools, hospitals and care homes to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds. Its vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life and no one is left behind. The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England. Find out more at www.readingagency.org.uk.


Kick off at 18.00 hrs (BST)

It all starts with a six o’clock (PM) talk hosted by the British Library with Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Kate Mosse. It’s an hour and ten minutes long.

The event is free but booking is essential.


Reading Hour

The period of time between these events are for you to read along with #WorldBookNight.

How can you join in? It’s simple, read a book! You can choose one of your own books, something from the ‘Books To Make You Smile’ list, or download a free eBook or audiobook of Stories to Make You Smile, a special publication for World Book Night 2021 in partnership with Specsavers.

You can download a free audiobook right now to listen to for World Book Night. An exclusive number of downloads are available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Titles available are:

Find out how to download an audiobook now.

Join in the conversation online by sharing what book you’re reading today, your top recommendation or just letting us know what you love about books using #WorldBookNight on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Check out the World Book Night 2021 booklist at Waterstones, where you can get 10% off any of our titles until 30 April using the code WBN2021. 

Plus customers can also enter an exciting competition to win a full set of books for themselves and an organisation of their choosing. Find out more.

Finale: Books to Make you Smile at 20:00 hrs (BST)

This annual celebration of books and reading, hosted by World Book Night Ambassador Sandi Toksvig.

During this special event, 8 to 9 o’clock (PM) you’ll be treated to exclusive readings and hear from special guests about the books that make them smile, featuring best-selling authors David Nicholls (One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow), Bolu Babalola (Love in Colour), and World Book Night founder and Canongate Books CEO Jamie Byng.

This is an online event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

The event is free but booking is essential.


Whatever you are doing for World Book Night I hope you have a wonderful time – read and enjoy!


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