World Book Night 2014

world book night 2014We’d like to wish all of our Readers a very Happy World Book Night! Once again, World Book Night is celebrating the importance of reading and books throughout the UK, in particular encouraging those who love to read on a regular basis to help reach out to those who don’t read as much as they might like to or perhaps have never read to discover a love of literature through the giving away of thousands of free books.

The Reader Organisation is delighted to be an World Book Night Edition Giver, and with the help of some Community Book Givers will be giving away special World Book Night Edition books from Calderstones Mansion House. City of Readers are celebrating World Book Night in a way that will help everyone get cosy with a book with their #readinaonesie campaign. It couldn’t be simpler – they just want to see pictures of you enjoying your favourite book in a onesie (or pyjamas, dressing gown or other lounge wear). Tweet your #readinaonesie pictures to @LivCityReaders or @Lit_Liverbird and find out more about getting involved in the campaign on the City of Readers blog.

Throughout the day, we’ve been asking our faithful Reader following on Twitter to share the titles of their all-time favourite books for World Book Night and the response has been brilliant, giving us even more reasons why books and reading make such a lasting impact and also ensuring that we have a reading list that’s growing even longer. You can share your own choices to help us mark World Book Night by tweeting us @thereaderorg or if you’re popping down to Calderstones Mansion House why not write your the title of your favourite choice down and we can use them to help line our bookshelves.

Our Readers’ World Book Night choices:

  • Jane Eyre and Villette – Charlotte Bronte
  • Burning in Water Drowning in Flame – Charles Bukowski
  • Gaudy Night – Dorothy Sayers
  • The Swish of The Curtain – Pamela Brown
  • Henry’s Leg – Ann Pilling
  • The War of Jenkins’ Ear and The Wreck of the Zanzibar – Michael Morpurgo
  • The Border Trilogy – Cormac McCarthy
  • The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
  • Love in the Sun – Leo Walmsley
  • Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Girl Reading – Katie Ward
  • The History of Love – Nicole Krauss
  • Gilead and Home – Marilynne Robinson
  • Levels of Life – Julian Barnes
  • The Last Man – Mary Shelley
  • Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

See the official World Book Night 2014 list of editions here

2013 at The Reader Organisation: A Year in Review Part 1

Calderstones Mansion House c Dave JonesIt’s been another remarkable year for the reading revolution and certainly one to remember as we began to set up home in our latest base, Calderstones Mansion House. So much has happened in the space of 12 months it’s almost hard to believe there has been time to fit everything in, so here’s the Reader Review of the first six months of 2013. More to follow tomorrow…


The year got off to an incredible start as TRO was awarded preferred bidder status for Calderstones Mansion House, Coach House and Stable Yard at Calderstones Park, Liverpool. Our vision for Calderstones is a community for everyone with reading at its heart, and we’re already building up the foundations of the future International Centre for Reading and Wellbeing at Calderstones with our shared reading and community event activity.

Scans of brain activity show intense electrical activity when reading challenging literature
Scans of brain activity show intense electrical activity when reading challenging literature

The work of the Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) attracted global attention with research headed by Professor Phil Davis finding that reading serious literature ‘acts like a rocket-booster to the brain’, and Read to Lead moved further afield with its first Belgian course. Reading aloud was also signified as the latest trend in an article in the Observer, which mentioned the work of TRO.


There was more press coverage of shared reading, this time in The Guardian as journalist Lynsey Hanley spoke about our work alongside her own experiences of finding support in fiction.

A very regal twist took place as we brought Read to Lead to Kensington Palace. Shared reading for the Queen? It could happen one day…


Eamee's awardThe Flemish reading revolution continued as Jane appeared at the Mind The Book festival in Antwerp, and one of our Wirral Apprentices Eamee was shortlisted for the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards, making it through a competitive shortlist to the final three for the Wirral region. Congratulations Eamee!

Elsewhere we celebrated World Read Aloud Day doing what we do best – need we say any more?


G31A6964After a good old tidy and the placing of some Readerly touches – including lots of cake – we opened the doors to Calderstones Mansion House for two public open days, inviting people to Connect With Us at Calderstones. We were expecting a few hundred – an amazing 1,200 people came to the Mansion House and shared their hopes, dreams and memories with us.

Our very first Shared Reading Practitioner Day happened in Liverpool, bringing qualified shared reading practitioners from across the UK together for a day of thinking, learning and, of course, reading, and we were delighted to be part of the wonderful World Book Night celebrations both as a book giver and at the Liverpool flagship event at St George’s Hall.


Jane and Andy 2 72dpiShared Reading for Healthy Communities, The Reader Organisation’s fourth annual conference took place in London, for a day full of considering how shared reading can contribute to building stronger, healthier and more connected communities. We welcomed our largest number of delegates to date to The British Library for a varied range of seminars and enlightening contributions from Andy Burnham MP, Professor Louis Appleby, Alan Yates and some of our shared reading group members.

There was more exciting development news as TRO was selected as one of the thirty winners of the Big Venture Challenge 2013 and teamed up with the Verbal Arts Centre in Northern Ireland, and our Reading in Secure Environments (RISE) project continued in Liverpool with visits from award winning poets John Burnside and Rita Ann Higgins.

Our first shared reading groups also got underway at Calderstones Mansion House.


Issue 50 cover online versionIt was a celebratory month as the beautiful, bumper 50th issue of The Reader magazine came off the press. Wishing us a happy birthday with new content were David Constantine, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Blake Morrison and Les Murray amongst many others, and we also delved into the Reader archives for a selection of gems from the previous issues. The issue received international acclaim, being called ‘magnificently rich‘ by American review website New Pages.

Jane was shortlisted alongside another inspirational Liverpool woman, Josephine Butler, at the Addidi Inspiration Awards, we brought RISE to London and Reading and read for wellbeing at the Southbank Centre, and as an organisation TRO received the PQASSO Level 1 Quality Mark.

Come back tomorrow for our Reader Review of 2013 Part 2: July-December.

The Unforgotten Coat wins again!

German children's literature prize

Congratulations to award-winning author, patron and great friend of The Reader Organisation, Frank Cottrell Boyce, for winning the award for The Unforgotten Coat in the category of Children’s Book at this year’s German Children’s Literature Awards.

German unforgotten coatWe are very proud of Frank and The Unforgotten Coat as it was penned especially for The Reader Organisation and Our Read 2011. 50,000 free copies of the book were distributed across Merseyside, travelling around the UK and the rest of the world and enchanting readers of all ages with its humorous and touching tale of two brothers from Mongolia who have settled in Merseyside and made friends with a girl called Julie, only to be forced back to their home country. It has gone on to captivate judges on many award panels, winning Frank the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize in 2012.

The German Children’s Literature Award is Germany’s only state-sponsored prize for works of fiction and has been awarded annually since 1956 by a jury of literature specialists and critics in four categories: picture book, children’s book, young adult book and non-fiction. In addition, since 2003 an independent young adult jury gives its own award. It is fantastic that Frank’s book

“written for fun, and for friendship’

has gone on to touch and inspire people around the world and be recognised for the wonderfully heart-warming work that it is.

Congratulations Frank and a huge thank you, once again, for the wonderful gift of The Unforgotten Coat.

In Other Words: Liverpool Literary Festival

The full programme for ‘In Other Words’, Liverpool’s biggest ever literary festival, has been announced today and promises a city-wide month long celebration of the written and spoken word. The festival begins on 23rd April, World Book Night, and concludes with the re-opening of Liverpool Central Library after two years of intensive restoration.

IOW-01 72 dpiLiverpool will be hosting the flagship World Book Night event on 23rd April with world renowned authors Philippa Gregory, Jasper Fforde, Jeanette Winterson, Patrick Ness and Jackie Kay appearing at a free ‘World Book Night Presents…’ event held in St George’s Hall.

The festival then runs until Sunday 19th May, with more than 350 events taking place, 200 of which have been specially organised for In Other Words. It is being curated in partnership with the long established Writing on the Wall festival for what promises to be a spectacular showcase of Liverpool’s literary heritage.

Here at The Reader Organisation we can’t wait to get involved with the exciting events planned for the month, and we also have a number of our own in the programme. We have been chosen as World Book Night givers, so will be kicking celebrations off by distributing free books in the prisons where we run Get Into Reading groups around the UK.

On May 9th, poets John Burnside, winner of the TS Eliot Prize, and Rita Ann Higgins, will be visiting HMP Liverpool and secure mental health settings as part of our Reading In Secure Environments project, before reading at a public event in LEAF in the evening, in partnership with WoW. As well as all this, we will be running a shared reading event for Liverpool’s business leaders, participating in a Story Telling Day, and running all our usual Get Into Reading groups.

Tickets for the RISE event are on sale here, whilst more information about this and The Reader Organisation’s other special events will be coming soon – watch this space!

World Book Night: Shakespeare Aloud

Tonight is World Book Night, and all over the UK and beyond booklovers will be gathering to celebrate the simple but very significant power of telling stories and reading aloud in bookshops, libraries and in their homes with family and friends.

Those who keep a close eye on the calendar will also notice that today also marks what would have been William Shakespeare’s 448th birthday and so to celebrate this momentous literary date a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets will be featured in the back of all of the 25 World Book Night titles, giving the chance for all the lucky readers who get their hands on a free book the added bonus of easily accessing and enjoying some of the Bard’s finest work. In events around the country, these sonnets will be read by candlelight tonight: a beautiful way to experience the joy of reading aloud and mark Shakespeare’s birthday.

To have our own celebration of World Book Night, The Reader Online presents some special Shakespeare readings, with TRO staff selecting and reading aloud some of their favoured pieces from the Bard’s vast repetoire. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to read your own favourite piece of Shakespeare aloud…

First up is Angela Macmillan, editor of A Little, Aloud, reading a very atmospheric ‘Ariel’s Song’ from The Tempest – a taster for the upcoming A Little, Aloud for Children. Anyone who has been to the Penny Readings over the years knows that hearing Angie reading aloud is a treat for the ears and coupled with the words of Shakespeare it’s extra special:

Ariel’s Song

Niall Gibney, Community Development Assistant, takes us back to the  heady summer days of Merseyside Community Theatre and gives us a bit of Scouse Shakespeare by reciting Romeo’s most famous monologue from Romeo and Juliet:

 “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

Continuing the Shakespeare read by Scousers theme is Lisa Spurgin, Trainee Communications Assistant, with one of the Sonnets; Sonnet 15, to be precise:

Sonnet 15

And finally, representing another part of the North West is Aaron Eastwood, Communications Intern, who reads a particular Reader favourite – Sonnet 116 (‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds’), which is featured in both A Little, Aloud and our Poems To Take Home anthologies (both still available to buy now):

Sonnet 116

World Book Night at News From Nowhere

The biggest country-wide celebration of reading, World Book Night, is just around the corner, with tens of thousands of passionate book lovers from all over the UK poised to share the 25 specially selected and best-loved books for absolutely no price at all. What could be better than getting  your hands on a free book? Perhaps a whole night of bookish delights at Liverpool’s very own independent bookshop…

News From Nowhere are holding a special evening event on World Book Night – Monday 23rd April from 6pm-9pm – to allow literature lovers to celebrate the momentous occasion surrounded by tons of books. They’ll have 25 free copies of one of the World Book Night books, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, to give away on the night, as well as a communal book display for readers to show off the books they love, a range of one-minute readings from favourite books, consolation prizes for those who don’t manage to snap up one of the 25 free copies of Good Omens and refreshments for all.

Whether you’re a seasoned booklover or you’ve never been in a bookshop before, this night is for you – you can browse, buy or just soak up the bookish atmosphere. It’s also Shakespeare’s birthday, and we’re sure he could think of no better birthday party than sharing in the joys of books.

World Book Night at News From Nowhere
Monday 23rd April, 6pm-9pm
News from Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop, 96 Bold St, Liverpool, L1 4HY 0151 708 7270

And make sure you join us right here on the blog on Monday for our own Shakespeare inspired World Book Night celebrations…

World Book Night at Waterstones

Book lovers should ensure that they’re free on the evening of Monday 23rd April – otherwise known as World Book Night – as Waterstones Liverpool One present a literary extravaganza celebrating the world of books.

A range of readings and literature themed events will be taking place at the store between 5-8.30pm, with something in store to please readers of all tastes. Local author Maureen Lee will be reading from her upcoming novel Au Revoir Liverpool, as well as answering questions and signing books; a Poetry Showcase featuring John Redmond, Clare Shaw and Deryn Rees-Jones reading some of their work; plus another of the store’s ‘Twisted Tales’ series featuring international horror legend Ramsey Campbell and Richard and Judy Book Club listed debut novelist Alison Littlewood.

For film buffs, there will also be a World Book Night  themed movie quiz, with all questions (and answers) involving books that have been adapted for the big screen.  And the best thing about it is that all the events of the night are absolutely free.

World Book Night at Waterstones: A Free Evening Celebrating the World of Books
23rd April, 5.00-8.30pm
Waterstones Liverpool One
12 College Lane
Liverpool, L1 3DL

For more information on the evening, please call Waterstones Liverpool One on 0151 709 9820 or visit the website.

World Book Night 2012

Earlier this year, the inaugural World Book Night gave out 1 million free books to readers across the country. 40 titles including One Day, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time were distributed by keen readers, with a host of events and promotions built around the event, including an evening of programming on BBC2.

World Book Night will be back on April 23rd 2012 (what would be William Shakespeare’s 448th birthday), and the organisers are asking people to tell them their ten favourite books, with the outcome of the vote informing the choices for next year’s books.

The current top 100 features a number Get Into Reading favourites including Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Little Women and Life of Pi. What other books do you feel compelled to thrust into the hands of the public? Maybe you’re mad for Melville, potty for Proust, or crackers for Cervantes? Make sure to let World Book Night know, and why not drop us a comment whilst you’re at it.

Link: World Book Night 2012