World Book Day

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March 10, 2013 by dontbringlulubook

World Book Day

World Book Day

When writing about the recently published book “Don’t Bring Lulu” by Ron, Doris and Sarah Onions, I realised that today, Thursday 7th March, is actually World Book Day and therefore very topical.

World Book Day is a charity event that is held annually in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the first Thursday in March.  It is the local manifestation of World Book and Copyright Day which is also known by the title of International Day of the Book or World Book Days, and is organised by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – to promote reading, publishing and copyright. On World Book day, every child in full-time education in the UK is given a voucher to be spent on books.

World Book Day was first celebrated in the UK in 1995, with the original, global World Book Day event generally taking place on April 23rd.

The UK’s own version of World Book Day began in 1998 and was launched by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at the Globe Theatre in London.   Several million schoolchildren in Great Britain were given a £1 special World Day Book Token (1.50 Euros in Ireland), which could then be redeemed against any book in any UK bookshop. A specially created World Book Day anthology was also published and priced at £1.  All World Book Day points of sale and the £1 book carried the special World   Book Day logo to help unify the initiative throughout all the places that were taking part.

Since the launch, World Book day has followed a similar pattern, gradually growing each year to take in more initiatives such as Spread The Word; Books For Hospitals and Quick Reads Initiative, which are a series of short books by bestselling authors and celebrities with no more than 128 pages and designed to encourage adults who do not read often or find reading difficult, to discover the joy of books. Launched in the UK and Ireland by Tony Blair in 2006, there has since been over 60 titles published, over 3 million copies sold and 2 million copies loaned through libraries.  Available from supermarkets, bookshops and online retailers for £1.99, they can also be ordered direct from publishers and wholesalers and in 2010new titles were available as eBooks for the first time.

Every year, the number of children receiving a World Book Day Token has increased. In 2000, rather than a single £1 special anthology, four separate £1 books were published that covered a wider range. Every year since then, another set of £1 special books has been published.

In 2007, World Book Day celebrated its 10th anniversary by publishing 10 £1 books and since then every child in full time education in Ireland and the UK is entitled to receive a £1World Book Day token on the first Thursday in March every year.  They can swap their token for one of the specially produced £1 World Book Day books or they can get £1 off a full price book or audio book priced £2.99 or more.

The list this year comprises of:

For more information, check out the World Book Day website at


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