insideKENT Magazine Issue 49 - April 2016 - Page 19

ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT World Book Night 23 April 2016 Reading: isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it strange? Isn’t it incredible how we can stare at a piece of paper covered with black markings and create some kind of a new world within our heads? It’s remarkable, magical, and the charity The Reading Agency wants everyone to experience it. Let us introduce World Book Night – an annual event held on 23rd April (which is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as being Shakespeare’s birthday) – aiming to show people that reading for pleasure can have some truly beneficial effects. Did you know, for example, that reading can reduce stress levels by 68%? And that book readers generally have a more satisfied outlook on life? Or that parents are their children’s first and most important reading role model? On World Book Night, hundreds of volunteers are given books – different books each year – and their task is to give them away to those who might not normally sit down with a good story, or those who might not own many books. It’s a chance for these volunteers to share their love of reading, and a chance for the lucky ones who are chosen to receive new books to experience what it’s like to delve into the pages for the first time. Each volunteer will be sent 16 copies of the book they’ve been allocated, and it’s down to them to decide who – and how – to give the copies away. Perhaps they will walk down the road and spot likely looking candidates. Maybe they’ll hold a local event where they will read some of the book and give copies away there. The choices are almost endless. As well as the book giveaway itself, there are hundreds of other events taking place across the UK and Ireland including author readings in libraries, reading groups, and book discussions. And it’s no longer just limited to 23rd April (although the initial giveaway is still done on that night). The books given away are special editions, reprinted and bound with the official World Book Night logo on them, so they’re fairly limited and very distinct from any other copy of the same book. They are chosen by an expert editorial committee who meet up once a year to consider all the possibilities – some titles come to them through publishers’ submissions, some through national surveys, and some through the committee’s own reading lists. They can be newly published or they can have been around for a while; as long as the books will hopefully encourage a long love of reading, they’re in with a chance of being chosen. 19 The Books For World Book Night 2016, the list of books being given away is an impressive one, and includes 15 excellent reads. From neo-noir detectives to a satire on the political movement in the 1970s to a good old dollop of black humour, non-readers will be able to dive straight into each of these novels and let the stories whisk them away. Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig Too Good To Be True by Ann Cleeves The Rotters’ Club by Jonathan Coe Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hillary Perfect Daughter by Amanda Prowse Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Treachery by S.J. Parris Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy I Can’t Begin To Tell You by Elizabeth Buchan Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson A Baby at the Beach Café by Lucy Diamond