World Book Night - April 23rd
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


Every year on April 23rd, World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together to celebrate books and reading. It’s also a time to encourage adults to take the time and read at night.

What do you do with your free time? According to a recent survey, most people around the world spend their free time sleeping. Others use their free time to complete household chores or go shopping. Some use it to volunteer. Many people also spend their free time hanging out with friends, listening to the radio, watching television, or looking at social media.
Sadly, not very many people spend this time reading. In some countries like the UK, only 69 percent of adults read during their free time. In the United States, individuals between the ages of 15 to 44 read an average of 10 minutes a day. What these people don’t realize is the benefits they are missing out on.

Reading includes many surprising benefits, too:

  • Reading increases empathy, which helps to improve relationships with others.
  • It makes people feel more connected to a wider community.
  • Reading books reduces symptoms of depression and increases a sense of wellbeing.
  • It helps provide insight into the worldview of others.
  • It helps students to enlarge their vocabularies and perform better academically.
  • Reading provides a better understanding of one’s own identity as well as the identity of others.

For those who love to read or want to read more, the good news is, there are so many great books from which to choose! Even better than that is you don’t even have to buy a book. Simply check out books from the library. There are also many websites, such as Open Library, that allow you to download free e-books.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldBookNight

During the evening, many libraries, bookstores, and public squares hold live book readings. Also, on this day, organizations that promote reading donate books to prisons, libraries, hospitals, and homeless shelters. This is the perfect time to spend your leisure time in the evening reading a book. You can also read a book to your children. Other ways to participate in this day include starting a book club with friends or donating your used books to those in need.


An English publisher named Jamie Byng came up with the idea of a World Book Night. The event was conceived in 2010 during a round table discussion at the Book Industry Conference. The purpose would be to get more adults to read. The first World Book Night was held in the UK and Ireland on March 5, 2011. In 2012, the date was moved to April 23rd. This date coincided with UNESCO’s International Day of the Book. April 23rd is also believed to be the birthdate of William Shakespeare. At one time, the United States also celebrated World Book Night. Unfortunately, the U.S. called it quits due to the high cost of distributing free books and a lack of funding.

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