What's happening with World Book Night this year?

World Book Night 2017

World Book Night 2017 is coming up on 23rd April, offering a night to celebrate reading and books within local communities across the UK. This year, we’re doing things a bit differently, working more closely with a select number of organisations including libraries, prisons, colleges, hospitals and homeless shelters to match our brilliant list of books donated by publishers with new readers. You can read more about the changes to the programme.


Events in libraries and other community venues are the life and soul of World Book Night, and are a fantastic way to celebrate reading and excite new readers. While we aren’t able to supply all libraries with books, we are encouraging as many as possible to host events and draw in new members on or around World Book Night. You don’t need to receive books from us in order to do this, and your World Book Night event can take any form. In World Book Nights-gone-by, some brilliant library events have included: 

  • Authors or special guests holding discussions, Q&As and readings for large audiences 
  • Reading group meetings discussing the books on our list of donated titles, or other books being given away. Don’t forget to register your reading group with our dedicated website Reading Groups for Everyone to find out about special reading group offers
  • Book swap coffee afternoons
  • Book-themed parties, late openings and sleepovers

You can take a look at how some of these events and activities have unfolded in our Storifies from World Book Nights 2015 and 2016. You will be able to find details of events happening up and down the country on our website in the run up to World Book Night 2017, and you can download posters, banners, logos, images and a template press release  to help run and promote your own events. We would encourage you to use our posters or a banner image in windows and exterior notice boards, for example, and you might want to try consulting our activity toolkit for more inspiration and tips. 

Sarah Davis, from Greenwich Libraries, has also shared her top tips for running successful author events with us, explaining that some authors prefer a Q&A rather than just to speak to the audience, and she also has some helpful advice about how to build an audience and when to schedule your event. This year's World Book Night is on a Sunday, so if you can’t hold your event on the 23rd April, our suggestion is to try planning it for the week before.

The gifting movement

This year we are giving our publisher-donated books out entirely through partner organisations, so individuals won’t be coming in to libraries to collect boxes of free books. Instead, our campaign will aim to galvanise people to share a book they love, bought new or taken from their shelves, with someone who doesn’t normally read. The idea is to motivate as many people as possible to share their book recommendations and take part in the gifting movement, and we have set up a Goodreads community for people to list and share their picks. Librarians can play an important part in spreading the book-sharing message and getting as many people as possible giving a book on World Book Night.

Get in touch

We are also keen to hear  your World Book Night plans so that we can promote them on our website and social media. Just email us giving a description of the event, your region, location, date and time, address and any ticketing information. Finally, please follow us on Twitter to keep up with all of the latest news and plans in the coming weeks, and look out for our exciting ‘virtual gifting’ campaign.

Related knowledge and skills


Read our blog comment guidelines