World Book Night represents the most ambitious and far-reaching celebration of adult books and reading ever attempted in the UK and Ireland.
On Saturday, 5 March 2011, two days after World Book Day, with the full support of the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with libraries, World Book Day, the BBC and RTE, one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland.
The book give-away will comprise 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night. The remaining books will be distributed by World Book Night itself in places that might otherwise be difficult to reach, such as prisons and hospitals.
The twenty-five titles were selected by a wide-ranging editorial committee, chaired by James Naughtie. After looking through the list of titles, you can apply to become a giver on World Book Night itself.
While one might suspect the ultimate reason is promotional for the book industry rather than sheer altruism, World Book Night is marked by various interesting literary events and reading group gatherings that go beyond the chance of a freebie book.
In Topsham, we have Topsham Book Swap at the Globe Hotel on Saturday March 5th, 6.30-8.30pm, when you're invited to "bring a book you love, swap it for another".
See the World Book Night website - www.worldbooknight.org - and the Facebook page for more information.