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Southbank Book Market | © ijclark / Flickr
Southbank Book Market | © ijclark / Flickr

The Campaign to Get Londoners Reading for World Book Day

Picture of Matthew Janney
UK Books Editor
Updated: 26 February 2018

LIBRARY have announced a new campaign to encourage Londoners to read ‘books that have a positive impact on society and culture,’ which will launch on March 1st, for UNESCO’s World Book Day.

Organised by LIBRARY, the campaign, known as London’s BIG READ, will focus on six non-fiction titles by London-based authors, ‘all of which have been nominated for their relevance in society today, and their bold approach towards topics such as identity, equality and entrepreneurship in the UK.’ The initiative will launch next Thursday on World Book Day, a day dedicated to celebrating, promoting and discussing reading, supported by over 100 countries around the world. 

The nominated books include Self Made by Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole (published by John Murray, 2017), Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch (published by Penguin, 2018), Julius Caesar and Me by Paterson Joseph (published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2018), Belt Boy by former boxing champion Kevin Lueshing and Mike Dunn (published by Austin Macauley, 2016), Black and British by historian and broadcaster David Olusoga (published by Pan Macmillan, 2017) and Diversify by TV presenter June Sarpong (published by Harper Collins, 2017).


The mezzanine at LIBRARY | Courtesy of LIBRARY

As well as a vote that is currently underway, which will see one title crowned as London’s BIG READ for 2018, Londoners can see the six authors in conversation, as part of the campaign’s live events programme to be held at LIBRARY during the month of March.

All the books will be available to buy from LIBRARY, with £2 from each sale allocated to their two children’s charities of choice, Room to Read and Ndoro Children’s Charities.

LIBRARY, founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Ronald Ndoro, is a member’s club in London that promotes creativity and innovation through a lifestyle service, fine dining experiences and a diverse cultural events programme.

See the full list of nominees below, and click here for more information on how to get involved with the campaign.


Self Made by Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole 



Cover courtesy of John Murray Learning

‘This authoritative, focused guide by two of the UK’s brightest young entrepreneurs – The Apprentice runner-up, Bianca Miller and serial entrepreneur, Byron Cole – is a comprehensive toolkit for anyone who wants to make a success of running their own business. Featuring interviews with well known entrepreneurs, entertainers and industry experts, the book covers every tier of the business development process, from start-up to exit, offering practical, implementable and global advice on the start up process.’ – Hachette

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch


Afua Hirsch Brit(ish) high res

Cover courtesy of Penguin Random House

‘Afua Hirsch’s new novel Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging is a personal memoir telling a collective story. With profound insight into the everyday racism that occurs in the UK, Hirsch sheds light on how the issue has been avoided through attempts to be ‘colour-blind’ and calls for a more rigorous debate on the subject. Combining memoir, social commentary and historical analysis, Hirsch’s book is an important work on the racial politics of Britain today.’ – Culture Trip

Julius Caesar and Me by Paterson Joseph



Cover courtesy of Bloomsbury

‘For Paterson Joseph, his experience of playing Brutus in Julius Caesar was a defining point in his career, and a transformative experience. For any actor or practitioner working on Shakespeare – or for any reader interested in his plays – this is a fascinating and informative read, which unlocks so much about making and understanding theatre from the inside.’ – Bloomsbury

Belt Boy by Kevin Lueshing and Mike Dunn 


The Belt Boy

‘Kevin’s account of childhood abuse is truly shocking and disturbing. Like a true champion, he has displayed incredible strength and bravery to reveal the horrific ordeal he suffered. His book needs to be read so we may all stay alert to this evil crime.’ – Nigel Benn

Black and British by David Olusoga 


Black and British David Olusoga

Cover courtesy of Pan Macmillan

‘Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation. It is not a singular history, but one that belongs to us all.’ – Pan Macmillan

Diversify by June Sarpong 


Diversify June Sarpong

Cover courtesy of Harper Collins

‘In this fierce, empowering call to arms, June Sarpong MBE puts the spotlight on groups who are often marginalised in our society, including women, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. Diversify uncovers how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the state, and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.’ – Harper Collins