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World Book Night becomes more global

8 August 2011

Now it's beginning to look as if World Book Night may shortly become just that, rather than an aspirational name for the adult version of the UK's World Book Day. The United States is to partner the UK, launching World Book Night in 2012.

The event will take place on 23 April - the birthdays of Shakespeare and Cervantes, and also St George's Day. The aim is to give away one million books across the Union, and Carl Lennertz, currently Vice-President of Retail Marketing at HarperCollins, has been hired as Chief Executive to lead the US division of WBN.
The occasion will mark Britain's second annual WBN on what is also the International Day of the Book, and the aim is to consolidate the event. The 25 titles to be given away will be announced at the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. and will be chosen by an editorial selection committee chaired by Tracy Chevalier, best-selling author of The Girl With the Pearl Earring.

Jamie Byng, who founded World Book Night in 2011, said: 'We always hoped that World Book Night would become a global initiative that truly lived up to its name. And so having the American book industry embrace it so wholeheartedly and Carl Lennertz coming to join the World Book Night team is helping that dream become an even more far-reaching reality.'

Julia Kingsford, new Chief Executive of World Book Night, said: 'The first World Book Night was simply the most extraordinary event celebrating the joy of books and reading and creating a network of passionate book-lovers. It is so exciting that in 2012 we'll be able to build that community internationally and spread a love of reading around the globe.'

Eight new Quick Reads by bestselling authors will be launched next World Book Day. Gail Rebuck, Chair of Quick Reads, has recently pointed out that 12 million people in the UK have literacy difficulties and one-third never pick up a book. Rebuck said: 'Typically, those who love their first Quick Read go on to become enthusiastic readers, devouring every book in the series, more books by their favourite authors and then other books entirely. Quick Reads is about securing our future as a reading nation.'

World Book Night

Quick Reads