World Book Night is shutting down after three years of distributing free books across the country. The volunteer-run organization is shuttering due to lack of funding.
“The expenses of running World Book Night U.S., even given the significant financial and time commitment from publishers, writers, givers, booksellers, librarians, printers, distributors, and shippers, are too high to sustain without additional funding,” explained the organization on its Facebook page.
“This has been a remarkable, passionate undertaking, and it has been a success by all measures, except for one: Outside funding,” stated Carl Lennertz, Executive Director of World Book Night U.S. “For three years, the publishing industry and book community have very generously footed the bill and contributed enormous time and effort, and our gratitude is immeasurable, especially for the givers. For us here at World Book Night, this experience has been life-changing, as we hope it has been for the givers and recipients of the books.”
World Book Night UK, a separate organization that also hands out free books in April, will not be affected by this change. “We want to assure our followers and supporters that the suspension of operations in the US will not affect World Book Night in the UK,” the organization explained on its blog. “We have exciting plans for World Book Night 2015 and beyond, which will be shaped and informed by the evaluation we have carried out this year.”