On March 5, 2011, 20,000 givers will help donate one million books to U.K. readers for World Book Night.
Jamie Byng, Canongate Books managing director and World Book Night committee chairman, conceived the event back in 2009. A group of booksellers, librarians, authors, broadcasters and others have chosen a list of 25 books to give away (the complete list follows below). Only 20,000 people will be invited to give away books for the program. Prospective givers have until January 4th to sign up–they can go to the World Book Night website and explain in 100 words or less why they want to participate.
John Le Carré‘s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold made the cut, and he had this statement: “No writer can ask more than this: that his book should be handed in thousands to people who might otherwise never get to read it, and who will in turn hand it to thousands more. That his book should also pass from one generation to another as a story to challenge and excite each reader in his time–that is beyond his most ambitious dreams.”