Together with The Reading Agency, the World Book Night ambassadors are inviting the whole nation to join the #ReadingHour (7-8pm) on Sunday 23rd April, when everyone will be encouraged to spend time with a good book and invite others to do the same. The initiative started in 2020, during the first national lockdown, when the estimated social media reach of #WorldBookNight and #ReadingHour was 14.3 million. This year, The Reading Agency will be launching an exciting new initiative to get the whole nation reading, with more details unveiled in early April.
As part of World Book Night, The Reading Agency will be gifting over 68,000 books to organisations across the country to give to people who don’t regularly read for pleasure or with limited access to books. This year’s 400 recipients include 89 arts organisations or charities, 47 hospitals or health centres, 39 prisons and young offender institutions.
The list of books that will be distributed to organisations on World Book Night features: critically acclaimed actor David Harewood’s memoir Maybe I Don’t Belong Here; Superheroes: Inspiring Stories of Secret Strength by Sophia Thakur and Denzell Dankwah; Isabel Hardman’s exploration of nature, exercise and mental health, The Natural Health Service; Ravena Guron’s upcoming murder mystery for young adults, This Book Kills, and many more. There is also a selection of audiobooks available for the public to download for free from this month, including The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns and One Body: A Retrospective by Catherine Simpson.
Selected by a panel including librarians, the World Book Night booklist has something for avid readers and those new to reading for pleasure alike. This year, the booklist also features a special collection of The Reading Agency’s most popular Quick Reads, the series of shorter reads that help to tackle the UK’s adult literacy crisis by encouraging less confident readers get reading great stories by celebrated authors.
Nadiya Hussain said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be one of the Ambassadors for The Reading Agency’s World Book Night 2023 on Sunday 23 April, the nation’s biggest celebration of books and reading, and the positive impact they have on our lives. To me personally, reading means so much: it allows me to transport into a world outside of my own. Through reading, I can carve out a physical time for myself to do something that I really enjoy. That is why I can’t wait to take part in the Reading Hour, between 7-8pm on World Book Night – an opportunity to take some time out on your Sunday evening to escape into a book, talk about a book, or even listen to an audiobook! The Reading Agency has put together a wonderful booklist of reading recommendations, in case you need any inspiration. From the list, the books I particularly love are: You Think You Know Me by Ayaan Mohamud, Maybe I Don’t Belong Here by David Harewood, This Way Out by Tufayel Ahmed, Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle. I wish everyone a brilliant World Book Night and let’s get reading!”
Fearne Cotton said: “World Book Night on 23 April is the annual celebration of reading, and I can vouch for how uplifting a book can be, so I am so excited to be an ambassador for such an important campaign! Books are the perfect escapism from a tough day, month or year. They can be impactful, thoroughly enjoyable and expansive, each in their own way. The Reading Agency’s recommended reading list for this year’s World Book Night is a great example of this. From the list, I’m especially excited about Maybe I Don’t Belong Here by David Harewood, which I encourage everyone to pick up and read during the Reading Hour!”
Louise Pentland said: “I am honoured to support World Book Night on the 23rd April – I am a big believer in the work The Reading Agency do. Being an author, I see the true value in reading and writing – It genuinely opens up the world to education, adventure and communities which is so powerful. I’m here to celebrate reading and the joy it can bring!”
Katie Piper said:“I am so thrilled to be supporting World Book Night and this brilliant initiative by The Reading Agency. Reading and writing books changed my life, so to support a campaign based on the proven power of reading is such a natural partnership for me.”
Shaparak Khorsandi said: “World Book Night is the best night of the year! I’m so excited to be joining the wonderful crew of ambassadors for such an important campaign, celebrating reading, books, readers, and how amazing all of the above are! During Reading Hour, everyone should be grabbing a good book and set some time aside to read, and from the reading list, I’ve got my eyes on Ayaan Mohamud’s You Think You Know Me. So let’s all join in the celebrations and get reading!”
Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, said: “We’re hugely excited to celebrate World Book Night 2023 with such a fantastic team of Ambassadors who are helping us champion the power of reading. We’re immensely grateful for the support from authors, publishers, libraries and giveaway organisations for helping people give the gift of reading this spring!”
World Book Night 2023 Titles
Aftershocks by Anne Fine (Old Barn Books)
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (Penguin)
Feel Good Food by Joe Wicks (HQ, HarperCollins)
Game Over: Rise of the Raid Mob by M.J. Sullivan (Clock Tower Publishing, Sweet Cherry Publishing)
Lift Your Vibe by Richie Norton (Penguin)
Making It by Jay Blades (Bluebird, Pan Macmillan)
Maybe I Don’t Belong Here by David Harewood (Bluebird, Pan Macmillan)
Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie (HQ, HarperCollins)
One Body: A Retrospective written and narrated by Catherine Simpson (Saraband)
Passing by Nella Larsen (Penguin Classics)
Pulling Through by Catherine Jessop (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
Superheroes: Inspiring Stories of Secret Strength by Sophia Thakur and Denzell Dankwah (#MerkyBooks, Cornerstone)
The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors Can Do For Your Mind written and narrated by Isabel Hardman (Bolinda Audio)
The Patient: A DS Cross Thriller by Tim Sullivan (Aries, Head of Zeus)
The Songs You’ve Never Heard by Becky Jerams and Ellie Wyatt (Clock Tower Publishing, Sweet Cherry Publishing)
The Trust by M.H. Eccleston (Aries, Head of Zeus)
The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns, narrated by Laurence Bouvard (Bolinda Audio)
This Book Kills by Ravena Guron (Usborne)
This Monk Wears Heels: Be Who You Are by Kodo Nishimura (Watkins Publishing)
This Way Out by Tufayel Ahmed (Lake Union Publishing, Amazon Publishing)
You Think You Know Me by Ayaan Mohamud (Usborne)
Quick Reads 2023 Titles
Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle (Vintage)
Hello Mum by Bernardine Evaristo (Penguin)
One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell (Hodder & Stoughton)
Paris for One by Jojo Moyes (Penguin)
The Double Clue: And Other Hercule Poirot Stories by Agatha Christie (HarperCollins)
Wish You Were Dead by Peter James (Pan Macmillan)
For more information, please visit worldbooknight.org.
Follow the latest developments on social media via: @WorldBookNight @ReadingAgency / #WorldBookNight #ReadingHour