Largest Book Give-Away Ever Attempted

20,000 passionate book lovers will give away 1,000,000 books on the inaugural World Book Night

The Society of Young Publishers supports ‘World Book Night’, which will take place on Saturday 5 March 2011 and will be broadcast in partnership with BBC Two. This dynamic and unprecedented industry-wide initiative to celebrate adult books and reading will see one million free books given away on ‘World Book Night’ by 20,000 passionate readers to other members of the public across the UK and Ireland. ‘World Book Night’ will take place two days after World Book Day, the established nationwide reading campaign.

A growing list of high-profile figures from publishing, media and the arts are lending their support to this ambitious initiative by becoming Patrons of ‘World Book Night’ including Damon Albarn, Dave Eggers, Colin Firth, David Gilmour, Antony Gormley, Seamus Heaney, Damien Hirst, Nigella Lawson, Mary Portas, J.K. Rowling and Tilda Swinton.

Jamie Byng, Chairman of the project says “World Book Night is a unique collaboration between publishers, booksellers, libraries, writers and individual members of the public and one that I think is going to have an enormously positive impact on books and reading. There are few things more meaningful than the personal recommendation and having one million books given to one million different people on one night in this way is both unprecedented and hugely exciting.”

From today, 2 December 2010, members of the public are invited to apply to be one of the 20,000 givers of 48 copies of their favourite book chosen from a carefully selected list of 25 titles. Most givers are expected to be passionate readers who will take pleasure in recommending a book they love to other readers. However, ‘World Book Night’ will also encourage givers to pass the books on to others who either may be reluctant readers or who are part of communities with less access to books, bookshops and libraries.

The 25 titles selected for the inaugural ‘World Book Night’ are:

Kate Atkinson - Case Histories (Black Swan)
Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin (Virago)
Alan Bennett - A Life Like Other People’s (Faber/Profile)
John Le Carré - The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Penguin)
Lee Child - Killing Floor (Bantam)
Carol Ann Duffy - The World’s Wife (Picador)
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage)
Seamus Heaney - Selected Poems (Faber)
Marian Keyes - Rachel’s Holiday (Poolbeg/Penguin)
Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Penguin)
Ben Macintyre - Agent Zigzag (Bloomsbury)
Gabriel García Márquez - Love in the Time of Cholera (Penguin)
Yann Martel - Life of Pi (Canongate)
Alexander Masters - Stuart: A Life Backwards (Fourth Estate)
Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance (Faber)
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas (Sceptre)
Toni Morrison - Beloved (Vintage)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Half of a Yellow Sun (Fourth Estate)
David Nicholls - One Day (Hachette/Hodder)
Philip Pullman - Northern Lights (Scholastic)
Erich Maria Remarque - All Quiet on the Western Front (Vintage)
C.J. Sansom - Dissolution (Pan)
Nigel Slater - Toast (Fourth Estate)
Muriel Spark - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Penguin)
Sarah Waters - Fingersmith (Virago)

If you’d like to be one of the ‘givers’ the ‘World Book Night’ website ( will serve as the primary means through which members of the public can apply to be a giver. People will be asked to say in up to 100 words why they want to give away a book chosen from the list and the sort of people they would like to give it to. The closing date for entries is 4 January 2011.

The 20,000 givers and members of the public will be invited to take part in events, parties and celebrations on ‘World Book Night’ across the UK and Ireland, with many libraries and bookshops extending their opening times.

For further information about World Book Night please contact Josephine Olley at FMcM on 0207 405 7422,