The north west city’s response to the international event is to host a gig by Manchester band, Violet Youth.
Manchester city council, the organisers of the event at the City Library, say they want to challenge people’s views of what a library should be used for and to attract those who would not ordinarily use one.
The Deansgate library will be used as a kind of living room where people can relax, explore and be entertained. And the event was a sell-out.
Neil MacInnes, Manchester city council’s Head of Libraries, said: “It’s incredibly important to promote the library service to as many people as possible, and for all age ranges – and I hope the success of this show will be the first step for the library service, opening the door for a rich future of events.
“We are very supportive of World Book Night and what the initiative is trying to achieve. Reading really is the bedrock of learning and if we can make libraries an attraction to as many people as possible – and importantly to completely new library users – we can make a real difference to the city’s education.”
World Book Night is an industry-wide initiative launched in March last year and will see almost one million free books given away.
In Liverpool tonight, a trio of events is taking place at Waterstones in Liverpool One to mark World Book Night, including a poetry showcase, a reading by Maureen Lee. The third event is Twisted Tales with authors Alison Littlewood and Ramsey Campbell.
Further afield, in Hebden Bridge, independent publishers Bluemoose Books were delighted that Damned United author David Peace chose their critically acclaimed Michael Stewart novel, King Crow, as his World Book Night choice. At the back of 25,000 copies of Damned United that will be distributed, are the first three chapters of King Crow, plus a personal recommendation from Peace.
King Crow was a winner of the Guardian’s Not the Booker award 2011 as voted by readers.
In the north east, a themed evening is taking place at Newcastle Library, which starts with the unveiling of a bronze sculpture by Lisa Delarney of Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet, to commemorate William Shakespeare’s birthday.
World Book Night evening events began with staff and volunteers distributing free copies of new books around the city centre in coffee shops, restaurants, the Tyneside Cinema, Theatre Royal and Eldon Square followed by music with Silver Linings. Adele Parks will read from About Last Night and actors will perform Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits.
Readers are also encouraged to pass the books on to those who may be reluctant readers or who are part of communities with less access to books, bookshops and libraries.
Books will also be distributed directly to prisons, libraries, hospitals, through World Book Night’s charitable partners.