Thousands of free books were given away on Manchester’s trams to celebrate World Book Day® on 2 March 2023. Commuters across the Manchester Metrolink network were in for a treat as the books went out to help promote a love of reading amongst children and their families.

The book give-away – a partnership between charity World Book Day®, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and Manchester City Council’s Read Manchester campaign – saw thousands of free reads placed on tram seats at the crack of dawn and sent on their way from tram depots, ready to be picked up by commuters of all ages as they made their way into school, college, or work.

Young child holding a book on the tram
World Book Day 2023 free books given out on the Metrolink system Pictured Kai 8 from Oldham with the book

There was a book for passengers to take home on each seat of the first morning trams, along with a special bookmark to help encourage the reading for pleasure habit amongst commuters and the children in their lives.

The read, ride, and take-home literary give-away put thousands of specially produced World Book Day® books into the hands of the city’s children and young people, and a selection of books for adults were also left on seats to help further spread a love of reading amongst all ages.

Free books were also handed out at three city libraries located near tram stops for anyone who missed picking up a book on the tram – Central Library in St Peter’s Square, Abraham Moss Library, and the Forum Library in Wythenshawe.

Two adults, smiling, holding a book each whilst sat on the tram
World Book Day 2023 free books given out on the Metrolink system Pictured Yash and Marshae with their books

In addition to the unique read and ride book giveaway, Manchester was also chosen by charity World Book Day® to host visits by two of their fourteen World Book Day® authors whose specially commissioned books were being given away to children and young people across the country to mark the day.

Authors L.D. Lapinski and A.M. Dassu spent the morning in Manchester riding the tram with children and young people and visiting schools to give pupils an insight into their stories, writing, and the world of an author.

More than 300 children from five primary schools in the city also visited Central Library during the day for a special ‘meet the author’ session with award-winning author Hannah Gold, winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2022 for her book ‘The Lost Bear’.

Authors L.D. Lapinski and A.M. Dassu pictures with a child in fancy dress as a golden ticket, and their teacher dressed as a tiger
World Book Day 2023 free books given out on the Metrolink system L.D. Lapinski, Ehsan aged 8, his teacher Ms Kershaw and A. M. Dassu

Councillor Adele Douglas, Deputy Executive Member for Employment, Skills, and Leisure, Manchester City Council said:

“Research shows that reading literally can change lives, and what better day to champion and celebrate this than on World Book Day”.

“So, whether you’re on a tram, sitting at home, or out and about in one of our libraries, pick up a book and see where it takes you!”

Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive at World Book Day® said:

“At World Book Day®, we want all families, children and young people to have the opportunity to discover a love of reading. Fun reading experiences are at the heart of helping children and young people become lifelong readers and set them up for future success”.