The event held on Monday 23 April, involved many celebrity voluteers ranging from Stephen Fry, who will be handing out Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities on the set of an adaptation of an Ian Rankin novel in Edinburgh, to Alexander McCall Smith, giving away Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day to his local community, and culture secretary Ed Vaizey, who plumped for David Peace’s novel about Brian Clough, The Damned Utd.
World book night also includes book giveaways, hundreds of readings and author events taking place around the country in libraries, theatres, bookshops and arts centres, with participants including the authors Marina Lewycka, Patrick Gale and Maggie O’Farrell.
The World Book Night event hopes to reignite people’s passion for reading and encourage reluctant readers.
Founder Jamie Byng, who is giving copies of The Damned Utd to inmates at HMP Wormwood Scrubs in London. “The number of givers signed up and the sheer volume of books being given away across the Germany, the USA, the UK and Ireland is truly astounding and the prospect of so many great books being read and shared all over the world on 23 April is very exciting.”