“How to Celebrate World Book Night on April 23rd”
by Katie Marrin
Attention fellow bookworms! World Book Night is back—and it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary.
That means we have had 10 joyous years of bringing people together through the power of a good book. If one good thing has come out of being stuck at home lately, it is how much extra time we have had to work through that list of books we have been meaning to get around to. For many, diving head first into a whole new reality is exactly the type of escapism we’ve been looking for.
Thanks to the people at World Book Night, Friday April 23rd offers us the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together to embrace our love for books. So with that in mind, we have put together everything you need to know about World Book Night 2021 in this post.
Whether you enjoy sharing your love for reading with friends and family, or getting time on your own with a book, here are some ideas of how you can get involved!
What is World Book Night?
World Book Night has been an important date on the calendar for many avid readers since it first started back in 2011. After the success of its first year, the organization moved the date to April 23rd to align with the UNESCO International Day of the Book, and to honor the one and only William Shakespeare who we believe was born (and died) on that date.
The event was set up by Jamie Byng, the managing director of independent publishers Canongate, and aimed to highlight the benefits of reading. While most of us have heard of the children’s reading event—World Book Day—World Book Night offers adults the chance to get involved too!
For the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, the event has teamed up with Specsavers to bring an even bigger and better evening for everyone to enjoy.
The theme for 2021 is “Books to Make You Smile” and the lead ambassador is writer, comedian, and literacy advocate Sandi Toksvig. She will be hosting a live streamed event with best-selling authors Bolu Babalola and David Nicholls.
World Book Night is now an event run and recognized by The Reading Agency and, similarly to most of society, has had to adapt with the times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past 10 years, it has been responsible for a range of different events up and down the country, which has encouraged institutions and companies to get involved, from reading-themed parties to book swaps in workplaces. However, government restrictions on social activities will not stop the tenth year of World Book Night, and there are still various ways that you can celebrate and get involved in all the fun.
So…how can you celebrate World Book Night? I have some ideas!
Spend time with your favorite books or crack open a new one
Nothing says “bookish holiday” more than setting time aside for full-on book appreciation time. Make sure to pull out all the stops when you’re celebrating this year: brew your favorite drink, prepare that fireplace, put on your book-themed socks, or just give yourself the excuse of reading or re-reading anything in the world you feel like opening right now.
Buying a book or two from your local indie bookshop would be a great way to celebrate too. If you’re looking for sweet new recommendations, check out Independent Book Review’s 32 Impressive Indie Press Books from 2020!
Have a virtual meet-up to talk about books
While in pre-COVID times, you may have met with a local book club to celebrate World Book Night, but social activity restrictions don’t mean that you have to cancel your plans altogether. Instead, book clubs all over the world have got virtual meet-ups planned ready for the big event. But don’t forget that your virtual meet-up doesn’t have to take the format of a traditional book club.
There are loads of interesting ways that you can discuss some of your favorite books without it getting a bit repetitive. From book quizzes to an online book recommendation party, anything that you would’ve done at a physical meet-up can also be achieved through the power of Zoom—and you don’t even have to leave your home!
Participate in #ReadingHour
As part of the World Book Night official event, and as a way to reinforce the benefits of reading, the event organizers are bringing back the #ReadingHour for the second year. This was a real hit last year, and reinforces the point that anybody from anywhere can enjoy reading and get involved in World Book Night. #ReadingHour takes place between 7-8pm on World Book Night and invites you to dedicate a whole hour to reading in any format. From sharing a book with others, to reading alone, or even enjoying an audiobook, be sure to share what you are doing online using #ReadingHour!
Depending on how dedicated a reader you are, you could even dress the part.
If you are heading into work on Friday, then why not encourage everyone in the office to dress up or wear their favorite literary t-shirts.
But don’t worry if you’re working from home. You can make your team calls a bit more interesting by coming on camera dressed as Alice in Wonderland and be sure to give your colleagues a laugh.
If we have learned anything from the last few months indoors, it is how important it is to enjoy the simpler things in life, such as curling up on the sofa with a good book.
So, if you are already an avid reader, or are keen to get back into it, then be sure to get involved with World Book Night 2021 and enjoy everything that the power of the written word has to offer.
Happy World Book Night! Events are taking place all over to celebrate this bookish holiday, so make sure to get in on the fun.
About the Author
Katie Marrin has been a book lover for as long as she can remember. She’ll read just about anything. From YA romance to historical fiction, if it has a gripping plot, then she’s probably going to fall in love with it. She attended Lancaster University and achieved BA (Hons) Theatre and English Literature and MSc Marketing.
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