The Reading Agency announced yesterday the list of books to be given away on World Book Night, 23 April 2018. The varied titles, donated by publishers from Penguin Random House and Hachette to small presses Nine Arches and Cassava Republic, include a diverse selection of commercial and literary fiction, poetry, non-fiction and young adult, each selected to inspire people who don’t regularly read to pick up a book and get reading.
With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year, The Reading Agency’s research shows that reading can increase empathy, improve relationships with others and reduce the symptoms of depression. The charity aims to harness this with several titles exploring mental health and wellbeing on the list, including Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, The Recovery Letters by Olivia Sagan & James Withey (eds.) and Open by Gemma Cairney. Other titles include British Book Awards Book of the Year 2016 The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley, poetry collection Kith by Jo Bell and My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal.
Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive, The Reading Agency says: “We know from our work on the Reading Well programme that there is a powerful link between reading and positive mental health. We are delighted to be able to include on the 2018 World Book Night list several titles that deal with this directly as well as others that we hope will lift readers’ moods or help them confront life’s difficulties.
Our aim with World Book Night has always been to reach and develop new readers and we can’t wait to work again with all of the wonderful public libraries, prisons, colleges and others who do such a terrific job of getting our brilliant books into the hands of people who don’t think reading is for them.”
Kit de Waal, whose book My Name is Leon has been donated by Penguin Random House, says: “I’m thrilled to be included in World Book Night 2018. It’s a great opportunity for readers to discover new books and for books to find new audiences. Reading and understanding different lives and experiences has never been more important.”
For a complete list of the books donated for World Book Night 2018, visit their website here.