April 23 is a great date in the literature calendar. Not only is it Shakespeare’s Birthday, it is also World Book Night. I chatted to Clancy Mason, Reader Development Manager at Blackpool Libraries, about plans for the big day.
What is World Book Night?
World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books which takes place on 23 April. It sees passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.
It is run by The Reading Agency – a charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader. Because everything changes when we read. In the UK 35% of people don’t regularly read, despite reading for pleasure being a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues, from poverty to mental health.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost the love of reading – or are yet to gain it – to pick up a book and read. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph until they too have discovered the power of reading and the opportunities in life that reading can open the door to.
What part do libraries play in it?
Libraries are an incredibly important part of World Book Night, acting as book collection points for givers and as crucial reading hubs for new readers long after the event is over. For 2014, libraries are distributing stickers and book plates for Community Book Givers.
Libraries across the UK are running a range of events that help promotes a love of reading, engage existing readers as ambassadors and encourages the third of the country who don’t regularly read to do so. We all benefit from more people reading.
How can I get involved?
Community Book Giving is a way of taking part in World Book Night by doing the simplest thing possible, committing to give at least one book to someone who doesn’t regularly read, on World Book Night. This could be a book that you own already from your own collection.
Free book plates and stickers are available to pick up from every library in Blackpool. In addition, Blackpool Library Service is running two events for World Book Night:
Local artist Lisa Wigham is delivering a DIY Publishing Workshop, 5.30-7pm at Central Library. Tickets are £3 and this workshop is suitable for over 16s. Booking is essential. Lisa will show how to make a paperback book / hardback novel / catalogue / album / zine or bespoke book/ Participants are invited to bring their own scribbles, printed texts, pictures or black pages for inspiration.
Blackpool Library Service is also hosting its first Twitter Books Club. Look for #bookpool on twitter from 8pm onwards. Twitter users voted for The Humans by Matt Haig from a selection of books from the World Book Night 2014 Book List.
Once World Book Night is over, is there a way I can help to promote reading locally?
Yes! Follow Blackpool Library Service on Facebook and Twitter to keep informed of any events and promotions that we will be running, including Wordpool, Blackpool’s Festival of Words from 2-5 July 2014, we have some super authors visiting which we have yet to reveal!
Or you could join a reading group or a book club and tell everyone about something good that you have read recently… get people talking about books and exciting about reading!
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