Authors including Lynda La Plante, David Almond and Elif Shafak, will headline the World Book Night flagship event in London on 23rd April.
The event, which marks the fifth anniversary of World Book Night, will take place at the Shaw Theatre in central London. Now run by charity The Reading Agency, it will see authors sharing their reading journey, the books that have shaped them and those they would like to share with others. Other figures taking part include Sarah Winman, Elizabeth Fremantle and Annabel Pitcher.
In addition to the London event, World Book Night will host regional events at public libraries nationwide. 2015 World Book Night author Mary Gibson will talk about her novel Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts at Blackburn Library and previous World Book Night author Alexander McCall Smith will be in conversation with The Scotsman at Edinburgh Central Library.
Meanwhile, 2014 Not the Booker Prize-winner, Simon Sylvester will give a talk at Kendal Library in Cumbria, the husband and daughter of Call the Midwife author Jennifer Worth will talk about her and the books on which the popular TV series is based at Royston Library in Hertfordshire and London Fulham Library will host Big Issue Magazine co-founder John Bird. Other events taking place include author Stella Duffy appearing at Woolwich Library in Greenwich, Casting the Runes presenting a drama performance based on books by M R James at Newcastle Library and crime writer Mari Hannah talking about her latest Kate Daniels novel Killing for Keeps at Blythe Library.
Sue Wilkinson, c.e.o of The Reading Agency, said: “World Book Night is one of the highlights of the year for The Reading Agency and for all our partners; this year it promises to be more exciting than ever. World Book Night’s flagship London event features some of our finest authors talking about their own reading journey: the books which changed their lives, shaped their imagination and excited their curiosity. We hope that this, together with the events taking place in libraries across the UK, will ensure that 23rd April is an evening we will all long remember; the night when many more people realise that everything changes when we read.“
This year’s World Book Night will see 12,500 copies of 20 specially printed World Book Night titles given out by a network of volunteer reading enthusiasts and institutions focused on reaching the 35% of the population who do not read for pleasure. 10,000 volunteers will give out the books in their communities and 2,700 institutions including prisons, libraries, colleges, schools and homeless shelters will be involved in giving multiple sets of books. The books are gifted by World Book Night’s publisher partners and distributed across the whole of the UK by Yodel.
This year World Book Night is asking everyone to share the book that would inspire reluctant readers to begin their reading journey. World Book Night authors and other public figures will spearhead the campaign on social media by revealing the book that first turned them on to reading and how reading has shaped them using the hashtag #readingjourney.