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World Book Night Returns

Reluctant readers it’s time to be inspired. Not only is it Shakespeare’s birthday today (23 April) but tonight will see the return of the annual World Book Night.

Passionate book lovers across the UK, Ireland, Germany and America will be giving away 2.5 million free books in what promises to be the biggest World Book Night so far.

25 titles have been selected to be given away to passersby in the street and donated to hospitals, prisons and care homes, with classic tales such as Pride and Prejudice and Rebecca sitting alongside popular modern works including Small Island by Andrea Levy, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day and Audrey Niffeneger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Alongside members of the public, authors Kathy Lette and India Knight will be hitting the streets of London to do their giveaway, while Stephen Fry and author Alexander McCall Smith will be handing out their chosen books in Edinburgh. Even the Duchess of Cornwall is getting involved by donating copies of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to her chosen charities.

ABOVE: Meg Rosoff (photographed by Zoe Norfolk) will be among the authors doing special readings at the Southbank Centre in London

We’ll be heading down to London’s Southbank Centre to check out the special events and readings from the likes of Martina Cole, Iain M Banks and Meg Rosoff, with the activities culminating in a midnight reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets by candlelight. Find out more about World Book Night at www.worldbooknight.org and join the conversation on Twitter #worldbooknight

What do you think? Is this a great way to get people reading? Tell us your thoughts and how you'll be celebrating World Book Night on Twitter or in the comments section below.