Calling all book worms

World Book Day 2014 is just around the corner on 6 March. Now in its 17th year, it’s a celebration­ of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) of reading and marked in over 100 countries worldwide.

Two happy schoolchildren have fun in classroomWorld Book Day aims to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the chance to have a book of their own. Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers, book vouchers are given out to children and young people – more than 14 million, in fact, which is one for nearly every child aged under 18 in the country.

They can use the voucher to pick one of eight (exclusive, new and completely free) books. Or, if they’d rather, they can use it to get £1 off any book costing over £2.99 at participating bookshops or book clubs (terms and conditions apply).

There’s also plenty going across the country in schools, plus writing workshops and book fairs. For full details and to find out about what’s going on in your area, head to

And to mark World Book Day here’s a few ‘novel’ facts to read over…

– The bible is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time – translated into more than 500 languages, more than 5 billion copies have been printed.

– Agatha Christie is the world’s best-selling fiction writer. The Miss Marple creator penned a staggering 78 crime novels that have sold more than 2 billion copies.

– Moveable type was invented by German Johannes Gutenberg in 1440, who printed his first book, a Latin Bible, in 1455.

– The first book printed in English, in 1475, was The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (correct spelling, honest!) by Englishman William Caxton.

– The youngest published female author was Dorothy Straight, who was just four when she wrote How the World Began in 1962, for her grandmother. Her parents thought it was so good, they sent it to Pantheon Books who loved it too and published it in 1964!

– Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after his editor dared him to write a book using fewer than 50 different words.

– Frank Baum, the American author who penned The Wonderful Wizard of Oz named ‘Oz’ after a file cabinet in his office. One cabinet was labeled ‘A to N,’ and the second was labeled ‘O to Z’.

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