Publishers including Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan will encourage their staff to go out and share stories with their local communities to celebrate World Book Day on 7th March.
The campaign, created by World Book Day in association with the Publishers Association and the Booksellers Association, encourages publishers to invite children to the workplace for storytelling sessions, allow staff to volunteer, and arrange flexible working so employees can share stories with children and young people.
World Book Day director Kirsten Grant said: “The book industry is leading by example, embracing World Book Day’s mission to get children and young people reading for pleasure – we are thrilled so many publishers have joined our campaign to take our Share a Story message to their staff and encourage reading with children and young people everywhere in so many creative and imaginative ways.”
Penguin Random House is encouraging staff to volunteer in schools and community settings in London, Frating and Grantham, while Hachette UK is giving away sets of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books for staff to share with children and young people.
HarperCollins is giving book bundles to people who work in News Corps’ The News Building and donating titles to primary schools around the country.
David Shelley, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said: “WBD is the most effective way of reaching new readers and encouraging children to read for pleasure, something which is critical for the sustainability and growth of the entire book market. But even more important than that, we know that reading books as a child lays the foundation for future health and wellbeing. It opens a world of opportunity for children whoever and wherever they are and World Book Day is therefore absolutely key to Hachette’s stated aim to make it easy for all people, everywhere to access new worlds - of learning, of entertainment and of opportunity.”
Simon & Schuster, Egmont and Faber & Faber are also taking part in the campaign, as are a number of consumer brands such as Ikea, Pizza Express, Clarks, Royal Mail and Chiltern Railways.