John Boyne chosen for World Book Night giveaway

John Boyne on Michael Harding: There’s something endearingly peculiar about his behaviour that makes people respond to him, too, rather than go screaming down the street in search of a garda

John Boyne on Michael Harding: There’s something endearingly peculiar about his behaviour that makes people respond to him, too, rather than go screaming down the street in search of a garda

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 17:10

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne has been chosen as one of 20 books of which 12,500 copies are to be given away free in Britain on World Book Night on April 23rd, UNESCO International Day of the Book.

Now in its fourth year, World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency, a charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader. As in previous years, a network of volunteer reading enthusiasts and institutions will aim to reach the 35 per cent of Britain’s population who don’t read for pleasure.

John Boyne said: “Going out to buy a book is great. Being given a book for free by a stranger on the street is even better. Being given 20 of them… well that just feels like Christmas. For me, the acts of reading and writing have always been connected. I simply cannot do one without doing the other. So to know that one of my novels will be handed out to new readers while I’m at home, working away on the next one, makes me feel very happy. World Book Night is a brilliant initiative. I’m thrilled to be part of the 2014 line-up.”

WorldBook Night will also feature two major literary events. In association with The Reading Agency, Canongate and London’s Southbank Centre will present Letters Live. Inspired by To the Letter by Simon Garfield and Letters of Note by Shaun Usher, Letters Live is a dynamic performance event that celebrates the enduring power of literary correspondence. The diverse selection of letters will be read by an impressive line-up including Caitlin Moran, James Rhodes, Matt Berry and Kerry Fox with more to be announced.

The second flagship event will be held at the Library in Birmingham, a major new cultural destination that is rewriting the book for 21st century public libraries. Bestselling authors Ben Aaronovitch, Matt Haig and Adele Parks, who all have books chosen for the World Book Night 2014 list, will take part in a special evening of World Book Night live readings.