We've compiled answers to the questions we get asked most often. If you don’t see your question, please contact us at the information below!
About World Book Night
About World Book Night
A. World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. go out into their communities and give a total of half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers. For more information about World Book Night, please visit the About Us section of the website.
A. An independent panel of booksellers and librarians selects the books, using lists curated by experts in the bookselling and library world. All of the information comes from external, independent sources. Additionally, each year, givers from the previous year’s World Book Night nominate books for the panel to consider.
The World Book Night U.S. books must meet the following criteria:
- Accessible books of quality.
- Recently-published books as well as established classics.
- Books available in paperback.
- Any genre of book – fiction, mysteries, romance, SF/fantasy, classics, poetry, humor, autobiography, and young adult books.
- The list overall must have a gender, ethnic, and geographical balance.
A. April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday! It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one. World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011; in 2012, it was also celebrated in the USA and Germany.
A. World Book Day is celebrated in the UK and Ireland by giving schoolchildren a book token. World Book Night was introduced in 2011 in the UK and Ireland to bring attention to books for adult readers. With its launch in 2012, World Book Night U.S. chose to continue the focus on adult readers, with a few books for teens and middle readers included.
A. Many, many other wonderful programs already exist to get books to young children, and they are essential. But World Book Night U.S. fills another important need: Encouraging reading in the adult population, especially those who may not have access to printed books for reasons of means or geography.
The goal of World Book Night is to seek out adult readers wherever they are, in towns and cities, in public settings or in places from nursing homes to food pantries, low-income schools to mass transit.
A. Please visit the International page under About Us for more information.
A. Please visit the Get Involved section of our website, where we have information and resources available. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter while you’re there!
A. Please visit our Be a Giver page in the Get Involved section of the website for more information.
A. World Book Night U.S. books are specially produced, not-for-resale paperbacks. Book givers will receive 20 copies of one book, a book they love from the list of 30 World Book Night U.S. selections. In their applications, givers make three choices, and we do our absolute best to get everyone their first or second choice.
A. Book givers receive 20 free paperback copies of one World Book Night U.S. title, not too many to carry but enough to share with a good number of potential new readers.
A. We’d like the book to be one that you’ve read and loved, so when you go out on April 23, you can say “I loved this book, and I think you will, too.” It’s integral to the fun and purpose of the day, as well as the act of giving something dear to oneself.
A. There is no charge for these special, not-for-resale editions. Givers will be responsible for any expenses incurred in picking up their box and distributing the books. These books cannot be resold in any fashion.
Authors have foregone their royalties to make this possible. Please see the full list of Partners and Sponsors in our About Us section. Through their generosity and the work of many volunteers—including you—we are able to make the books available free of charge.
A. We will do our best to make sure all selected givers are able to pick up their books at a bookstore or library close to their home address. We have over a thousand locations across America designated. If need be, we will help seek out a rural library as a pick-up point. For cost reasons, we are unable to ship to home addresses.
A. All box pick-ups will be on the week prior to April 23rd. You will hear from us and your pick up location with details in early April.
A. They are busy folks and will be in touch with you soon. If by Monday April 15 you haven't heard from them please get in contact with them directly.
A. We ask that everyone wait until that day or during the week after. World Book Night is a local, national, and global experience, and it begins on April 23rd.
A. World Book Night is intended to indicate the event’s focus on adults. However, book givers can go out anytime on April 23 to a place of their choosing to give away their 20 copies. Givers should pick a safe, well-populated public area or indoor setting, like a hospital or school. All givers must be 16 years or older; anyone younger must be accompanied by an adult.
A. At this time, we do not have the funds to produce promotional materials. In the past, many givers made signs, t-shirts, and other fun items with great results. We are happy to provide downloadable resources for you to use, such as our logo and posters. To access these, visit the All Resources page in our Resources section on the website. If a location where you are going needs something official to explain what World Book Night U.S. is, direct them to this website and show them your letter and certificate.
A. There will be bookstore and library events in the week before the event. All of these are hosted and organized by the individual stores and libraries, and we hope you are able to join their celebrations. If there is not a location near you, we hope you join the conversation online. World Book Night is made up of the thousands of individual interactions and celebrations of reading and giving that take place on the day. To see a list of World Book Night U.S. Events, click here.
A. World Book Night U.S. is primarily focused on communities—your community. It’s the second half of our mission, the “person to person.” You are the reading ambassadors, if you will, spreading the word locally. Local media covers book givers’ activities in hundreds of cities and towns, and the givers themselves use social media to describe how their day went, as well as share photos when possible. Having said that, we are working hard with network TV, national newspapers, and NPR to bring national attention to the event.
Email us at
or Contact Us here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Just bear with us; we’re a non-profit with minimal staff. We just ask that you read up on World Book Night U.S. here first!