May 19, 2022

World Book Night Suspends Operations in U.S. Due to a Lack of Funding

Sad news. World Book Night is suspending operations in the U.S. due to a lack of funding.

The 2014 WBN U.S. included participation from more than 1000 libraries who registered on the ALA web site.

This is yet another example of a worthwhile project not being (at least to this point) sustainable for the long term. Hopefully, funding will be found soon and WBN U.S. will be able to get going again.

Below, is the full text of the WBN U.S. suspension announcement along with some past infoDOCKET posts about the event.


Dear World Book Night U.S. friend,


After three years in which thousands and thousands of you distributed over a million and half specially-printed World Book Night paperbacks across America, we are sad to announce that we are suspending operations. The expenses of running World Book Night U.S., even given the significant financial and time commitment from publishers, writers, booksellers, librarians, printers, distributors, shippers–and you, our amazing givers!–are too high to sustain.


This has been a remarkable, passionate undertaking, and it has been a success by all measures, except for one: Outside funding. For three years, the publishing industry and book community have very generously footed the bill and contributed enormous time and effort, and we are so very grateful for all the support.


We did receive some funds via individual donations, and we worked very hard to get grants. We did get some, but there are a lot of other worthy causes out there and only so much money available. We can’t carry on without significant, sustainable outside funding.


From World Book Night U.S. Board Chairman Michael Pietsch: “World Book Night’s first three years have been a profound experience for everyone involved. The altruistic spirit of the givers and of industry supporters have reminded us all of the transformative impact books have on people’s lives, and of the power of a book as a gift. The World Book Night Board joins me in extending their deep gratitude to all who have taken part.”


WBN U.S. Exec Director Carl Lennertz added: “Some of you know our names here, but I want to be sure you know these–Laura Peraza and Carolyn Schwartz. They have been here since day one, and they, along with you, are my heroes. Alia Almeida joined us this year and was a creative force. A list of all the booksellers, librarians, authors, and folks in publishing and at Ingram would be too long to include here, but they know who they are and I know they have loved being a part of this beautiful thing we did together.”


We are staying on hand through the summer without pay to maintain social media contact with you all, to talk good books, and to announce the winner of the giver essay contest.


YOU, the givers, made it possible for WBN to reach its full potential. For us here at World Book Night, this experience has been life-changing, as we hope it has been for you and recipients of the books. Our gratitude to you is simply immeasurable.


With much love, appreciation, and admiration, thank you!

Team WBN U.S

See Also: World Book Night U.S. 2014 Releases List of Top 20 Library Giver Locations

See Also: World Book Night U.S. 2014 Titles Announced

See Also: World Book Night Announces 2013 Titles

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.