World Book Night 2021

World Book Night will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Friday 23 April

1 in 3 (31%) adults in England don’t regularly read for pleasure, rising to 1 in 2 (46%) of young people. The Reading Agency’s annual World Book Night celebrates reading for pleasure, encouraging conversation about books and for everyone to spend time reading. World Book Night covers the whole reading journey and is accessible for everyone, from less-confident readers to those who read regularly. World Book Night is a community celebration, bringing people together to share the joy of reading.

World Book Night programme

• 6-7pm: Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Kate Mosse (hosted by the British Library)

• 7-8pm: #ReadingHour

• 8-9pm: World Book Night presents: Stories to Make You Smile (hosted by the British Library)

Reading Hour

Join readers across the country in dedicating an hour to books from 7-8pm. Everyone can get involved in lots of different ways:

• Read alone

• Listen to an audiobook while preparing dinner

• Read to children before bedtime

• Hold a book club meeting

• Call a friend to chat about books and share recommendations

• And more!

Share what you’re doing on social media using #ReadingHour.

The booklist

People can read any book they want on World Book Night, in any format. Together with publishers, The Reading Agency curates a booklist every year that provides reading suggestions covering a wide range of genres and interest. This is particularly beneficial for those who don’t regularly read and would like some help. What they look for is simple – good, enjoyable, highly readable books with strong compelling narratives. This year’s theme is ‘Books to Make You Smile’, and the selection offers something to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Re-reading makes us smile

A new survey published by The Reading Agency on 23 April has revealed that more than one in three readers (35%) find happiness in re-reading books. The survey shows that we are a nation of re-readers, with more than half of people surveyed (53%) saying they have re-read at least one book over the past 12 months.

Free audiobooks

A specially commissioned books of short stories, Stories to Make You Smile, will be published in partnership with Specsavers as a free eBook and audiobook download on 23 April. The books is published by Simon & Schuster, edited by Fanny Blake and features stories by Jenny Eclair, Katie Fforde, Veronica Henry, Rachel Hore, Vaseem Khan, Dorothy Koomson, Helen Lederer, Richard Madeley, Eva Verde and Mark Watson. The audiobook is narrated by Adjoa Andoh, Samantha Bond, Hugh Bonneville and Madhav Sharma.

Select eBook or audiobook in the drop-down menu then your preferred retailer

Useful links for libraries

  • Resources including activity toolkits, the full list of books from all ten years of World Book Night and social media assets. Other items including posters, printable bunting and bookmarks. 
  • Event map where libraries can submit their event to appear.
  • Book Sorter allowing users to select what they are looking for by category and offers recommendations from all ten years of World Book Night booklists

For more information visit the World Book Night website.


Reading at home

Free audio and e-books, online reading groups, podcasts, videos and more.


Learning at home

Free online learning resources and webinars for children, adults and businesses.