"Nothing is quite as immersive, affecting or exciting as the experience of reading a wonderful book."
In its fourth consecutive year, World Book Night 2014 brings British readers a selection of great literature from our shores; both fiction and non-fiction, enticing people from all walks of life to pick up a book and read them at their leisure.
The annual campaign is run by The Reading Agency, a charity that offers reading support to all those who do not have easy access to books. Essentially a unique concept, World Book Night selects 20 books in total and for 2014; 46,000 volunteers have donated books for a readership of 2 million.
With reading for pleasure falling at a considerable rate, especially among younger generations and men, World Book Night aims to encourage the population to get back into the habit of reading through a selection of interesting novels and books to suit all ages, genders and personalities.
They insist that literacy and reading are essential for developing skills, whether for both verbal and written communication, language, aptitude, intelligence and social awareness.
35 per cent of people in the UK don’t read books regularly – a significant proportion when you consider how Britain has been built on such literary greats like William Shakespeare, who coincidently shares his birthday on the same day as World Book Night.
This is perhaps not such a big surprise when you consider how much reading habits have changed over the years, especially with the advent of the digital age which sees individuals desk to TV’s and tablets as opposed to paperbacks.
Many have never picked up a book since school days, while others find that they have no access to books where they live. This has led to a risk of some skills that reading and literacy provide, to remain underdeveloped.
As popular author, David Nicholls (One Day, Starter For Ten) says: “Television is a fine medium and I love cinema more than most. I listen to music all the time and have been known to glance at the web too, but for me nothing quite compares to that moment when you read some marks on the page and think ‘yes, I know exactly what you mean’.
“With technology tapping us on our shoulder, it has become harder and harder to find the time and concentration to sit alone with a book, and it’s not surprising that so many men have lost the habit of reading or never acquired it in the first place. But I passionately believe that nothing is quite as immersive, affecting or exciting as the experience of reading a wonderful book.”
World Book Night has selected for 2014, a key number of fiction and non-fiction texts which suit the changing clime of individuals and their busy lifestyles.
In particular, Quick Reads offers short reads with easy language that some readers can find more accessible. Quick Reads itself is a charity designed to make reading easier and more accessible; they publish 6 books every year.
A familiar name on the list is British Asian author, Sathnam Sanghera, whose book, The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton is a hilarious autobiography about growing up in a Punjabi family.
Here is the list of 20 books for World Book Night 2014:
- Four Warned, by Jeffrey Archer (Quick Reads, Short Stories)
- Hello Mum, by Bernardine Evaristo (Quick Reads, Amazing Modern Fiction, Crime, Books about Families)
- The Perfect Murder, by Peter James (Quick Reads, Crime)
- Today Everything Changes, by Andy McNab (Quick Reads, Books for Teens and Young Adults, Great Non-Fiction, Books about Families)
- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne (Books for Teens and Young Adults, Amazing Modern Fiction, Books about Families)
- A Collection of Short Stories, by Roald Dahl (Books for Teens and Young Adults, Short Stories)
- Theodore Boone, by John Grisham (Books for Teens and Young Adults, Thrillers and Action Adventures)
- The Recruit, by Robert Muchamore (Books for Teens and Young Adults, Thrillers and Action Adventures, Books about Families)
- The Boy with the Topknot, by Sathnam Sanghera (Great Non-Fiction, Books about Families)
- Confessions of a GP, by Dr. Benjamin Daniels (Great Non-Fiction)
- 59 Seconds, by Professor Richard Wiseman (Great Non-Fiction)
- Getting Rid of Matthew, by Jane Fallon (Amazing Modern Fiction, Books about Love)
- The Humans, by Matt Haig (Amazing Modern Fiction, Fantasy, Books about Love, Books about Families)
- Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin (Amazing Modern Fiction, Books about Love)
- Whatever it Takes, by Adele Parks (Amazing Modern Fiction, Books about Love, Books about Families)
- Black Hills, by Nora Roberts (Thrillers and Action Adventures, Books about Love)
- Gorky Park, by Martin Cruz Smith (Thrillers and Action Adventures, Crime)
- Geezer Girls, by Dreda Say Mitchell (Thrillers and Action Adventures, Crime)
- After the Funeral, by Agatha Christie (Crime)
- Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch (Crime, Fantasy)
With World Book Night a growingly important date in the reading calendar, these list of books are certain to appeal to a mass audience. Whether you love to read crime, thrillers romance, young adult or books about family life, the 2014 World Book Night List is sure to have something for you. A great collection for a great cause. For more information about World Book Night and the events taking place, please visit their website.