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Let the story begin; World Book Day is the perfect way to get children and adults into reading all sorts of stories.

GET set to fuel your imagination with fun-filled adventures and action-packed stories all for free. For today marks the return of World Book Day.

With more than 100 countries taking part, today's inspiring event is a chance for young and old alike to celebrate reading in style.

Already, thousands of schools and nurseries throughout the UK have signed up for the reading bonanza.

To encourage children as much as possible, organisers have also issued kids with a special pounds 1 World Book Day Book Token.

Thanks to this voucher, children can pick up a brand new book for free. Starting today, they can choose from a host of talented authors and start a new reading adventure without paying a penny.

Eight new books have been released to celebrate World Book Day. All kids have to do is head to one of the many participating bookshops up and down the country.

The titles include Roald Dahl's Fantabulous Facts, Jacqueline Wilson's Big Day Out, Where's Wally Now? by Martin Handford and The What The Ladybird Heard Song by Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson.

Fans of How To Train Your Dragon are also in for a treat, with Cressida Cowell's latest adventure - The Day Of The Dreader - featuring on the must-read list.

Children's favourite Winnie the Witch is also back for more in Winnie Flies Again by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul.

For younger readers, the exploits of Magic Molly: The Clever Little Kitten will keep them spellbound for hours, while the dark tales featured in The End Of The World - the latest Skulduggery Pleasant book by Derek Landy - is ideal for older kids.

Giving out free tokens is just one way in which World Book Day hopes to encourage kids to fall in love with books. A number of events will also take place, including the first UK-wide literary online festival.

From 9.30 this morning, some of our best-loved authors, such as Jacqueline Wilson, Derek Landy and Julia Donaldson, will be live online talking about their love of reading and answering lots of questions.

Older kids can also join in the reading fun by downloading a new World Book Day App.

Featuring exclusive short stories by teen authors such as Neil Gaiman, Charlie Higson, Malorie Blackman and Anthony Horowitz, it's the ideal way to get older children interested in reading.

Kids will also be able to enjoy sample chapters from some of the best young adult writers around.

Available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod, the World Book Day App is completely free to download.

What's more, it will continue to be updated throughout the year with sample chapters, videos and special offers to keep kids enthralled.

Created in 1997, World Book Day has been a major success, with hundreds of schools, nurseries and libraries throughout Scotland participating in the annual event.

The free World Book Day Book Token is exceptionally popular with adults and kids alike, as it gives thousands of children the chance to have a book of their own.

Working with National Book Tokens, publishers and booksellers, the exclusive token can be exchanged for one of the eight specially published Word Book Day pounds 1 Books. They can also be put towards any book or audio book costing pounds 2.99 or more at participating shops.

Valid until March 25, children will have plenty of time to pick up the book of their choice and start a new chapter in their love of reading.

Kirsten Grant, director of World Book Day, explained: "We want to get the whole country sharing stories for World Book Day.

"The pounds 1 World Book Day Book Tokens are a great way to get young people of all ages started and there are some brilliant events lined up that will make this year's World Book Day bigger and better than ever."

But it's not all just about kids - with adults also being encouraged to pick up a book and get reading.

Alongside the children's selection of pounds 1 books, adults can choose their own reading material from a limited edition of "Quick Reads" books.

Featuring tales from well-known authors such as Alexander McCall Smith, Linda La Plante and Tony Parsons, eight Quick Reads have been published to encourage grown-ups to join in the fun.

Covering everything from gripping detective and Dr Who plots to narratives inspired by World War II, the short, adventure-packed books form part of the Quick Reads "Fall in Love With Reading" campaign.

Organisers hope that as well as encouraging people to pick up a good book, the campaign will persuade adults who have difficulty reading to get help.

Studies conducted by Quick Reads and the Centre for Economics and Business Research only recently revealed improved literacy could earn you more money.

They discovered the average earner could increase their takehome pay by as much as pounds 2334 a year if they improved their reading skills.

Dame Gail Rebuck, chairwoman of Quick Reads, said: "Some 12million people struggle with reading in the UK and a third of adults don't pick up a book. Our research demonstrates just how much changing the pattern of literacy could improve the financial position of individuals.

"By publishing this research and with our line-up of Galaxy Quick Reads, we hope to encourage the nation to fall in love with reading and help to make concrete, positive changes to individuals and society."

Launched in 2006, Quick Reads have already helped hundreds of thousands of people discover a love of reading through their popular and exciting books.

Sponsored by Galaxy, they are also behind countless community reading groups and Family Reading Breakfasts which take place in schools across the country.

Each Quick Reads book is priced at just pounds 1.99 and can be picked up in all participating bookstores and supermarkets. The stories can also be downloaded through iTunes.

So why not make the most of World Book Day and start your own new reading adventure? With such a fantastic selection of great-value books for young and old alike, it's the perfect time to rekindle your love for the written world. For more information on the special pounds 1 World Book Day Book Tokens and the exciting reading events taking place throughout Scotland, visit Alternatively, you can check out to find out more about the Quick Reads adult reading campaign.

COMPETITION: Win Quick Reads Books d B k WITH so many exclusive Quick Read books now on the shelves, choosing your story is half the fun. From thrilling mysteries and island adventures to business tips and family dramas, there's something for everyone in this year's special selection. The Big Plus is offering 200 readers the chance of owning three of these books. Simply register your details at BOOK YOUR PLACE FOR THE BIGGEST BOOK SHOW ON EARTH A SHOW-STOPPING line-up of authors and illustrators are uniting for the country's first online children's book festival on World Book Day 2012.

Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Cressida Cowell, Derek Landy and Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson are just some of the best-loved authors taking part in a series of fun performances for the "Biggest Book Show on Earth" Taking part couldn't be easier - simply visit to register for free and check your technical set-up beforehand.

Young audiences from all over the world then have the chance to watch online and submit questions to the line-up.

Parents, teachers and librarians can download a full pack of resources and ideas to help children as they laugh, sing and read along.

The event will air in two sessions with the first (9.30 to 10am) designed especially for nursery and pre-school children before older children join in the fun from 11am to midday.

The Biggest Book Show on Earth is just one in a series of events and activities in schools, bookshops and libraries getting children excited about books and reading for World Book Day 2012.

Visit for more information and the latest news.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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