Events around the world garnered more than 17,200 book donations and brought more than 7,400 participants together to share a love of reading, globally.
In honour of World Book Day - a day dedicated to authors, illustrators and readers across the globe, celebrated annually on April 23 - Amazon hosted a Global Free Library event series, where communities around the world were invited to celebrate their love of reading and books. Global Free Library events were held in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.
Across twelve countries, Amazon employees, local community members and book publishers donated more than 17,200 books to bring the Global Free Library event series to life. In the spirit of World Book Day, readers that attended were encouraged to leave a book they love and want to share, and to discover and select a new book (or ebook) to bring home and read. At the end of each event, remaining books were donated to local charities. The global events brought together more than 7,400 participants to celebrate reading and included activities ranging from photo booths and book-inspired latte art to personalised tote bags with inspirational quotes and more than 25 author and storyteller readings.
In the UK, Amazon employees and customers took part in Celebrate Reading, a book donation drive where inspirational titles were given to the National Literacy Trust, Magic Breakfast and Beanstalk. Across the week-long initiative books were generously donated with the hope each book would inspire others to love reading as much as the person who donated.
At Amazon in Munich, Germany, more than 1,400 books were available to readers as part of the "Global Free Library". Guest were treated to numerous readings and discussions with well-known personalities. Presenter Johanna Klum joined actors Götz Otto and Manou Lubowski as well as successful authors; Hanni Münzer and Hendrik Falkenberg, who read from their favorite books and bestsellers.
In Milan, Italy, the Global Free Library consisted of over 1,000 books thanks to the collaboration of some of the most important Italian publishers and the support of Amazon employees. The books collected were donated to Save the Children for their "Enlighten the Future” project and the Istituto Comprensivo Tommaso Grossi Milan, which hosted the event, with the participation of over 500 students in elementary and middle classes, their teachers and other parents.
Several activities were organized within the Institute: from a book exchange to entertainment activities to promote reading, organized in partnership with Audible. Well-known Italian personalities attended the event including; author and filmmaker Luca Vecchi, director, author and host Claudio Di Biagio and best-selling author Carlo Martigli.
The President of the Institute, Milena Sozzi said: "This event was a unique experience and very positive, especially within a context in which the approach to reading is complex and difficult. The children enthusiastically participated in the book exchange activity. We are so happy to have joined in the celebration of World Book Day, continuing a tradition of openness to new stimuli which included the introduction of the Kindle in classes a few months ago. We are grateful to the publishers and Amazon employees who have given books for our kids. "
In Seville, Spain, more than 3,000 people consisting of children, local writers and lovers of reading gathered at Plaza de España for almost 12 hours of continuous book exchanging, musical performances and storytelling.
“Books are home to us at Amazon. Our company started with books and they remain core to what we do,” said Robin Mendelson, Director of Books & Media, Amazon. “The power of reading and the power that books have to transform lives and shape communities is as strong as ever. Around the world, readers visited our Global Free Library events and took part in reading, sharing and discovering new books. We were so appreciative to receive the support of publishers, customers and our own employees to give back to local communities and institutions that are vital to the promotion of literacy and literature. Amazon employees had such a great time joining families and our local communities around the world who took time out of their days to share in the love of reading.”
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