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World Book Day: £1 books to buy and where to use the voucher


World Book Day takes place in March every year (Picture: Getty Images)

World Book Day 2021 is almost here – a day dedicated to celebrating everything to do with books, literature, and reading.

The annual event, organised by charity Unesco, is largely centred on encouraging children to enhance their love of reading.

Parents will be able to grab some bargain deals on books – including books for £1, and tokens.

Here’s all you need to know about buying books on World Book Day 2021.

What day is World Book Day 2021?

This year’s World Book Day falls on Thursday, March 4 2021.

It is always held on the first Thursday of March each year and 2021 is the 24th year it’s been held.

The aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to engage with reading and books (Picture: Getty)

Many schools often encourage children to dress up as their favourite book characters to celebrate the occasion.

A big part of the event sees Unesco, along with National Book Tokens Ltd, offer a staggering 15million £1 book tokens to children nationally (one for nearly every child under the age of 18 in the country).

How does the £1 book voucher token work?

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Millions of book tokens have already been sent out around the UK and Ireland to schools.

Schools will distribute out the tokens to pupils – most likely digitally in an email to parents this year due to school closures during the coronavirus pandemic. This single-use digital token can be printed at home or shown to booksellers on a phone or tablet screen.

The token is also on McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes through February and March, and in some children’s magazines.

The £1 book tokens can be swapped for one of the new and completely free World Book Day books available from participating booksellers or used to get £1 off (€1.50 off in Ireland) any full-price book or audiobook instead (as long as the book or audiobook costs at least £2.99 (or €3.99 in Ireland).

The World Book Day £1 books are a gift from booksellers, who fully fund the cost of the £1 book token redemptions.

For those children who are being home-schooled, parents can apply for a digital token here.

How long is the £1 book voucher token valid for?

Children are often encouraged to wear fancy dress on World Book Day (Picture: Getty)

World Book Day tokens will be valid from Thursday, February 18 to Sunday, March 28, 2021.

Participating booksellers will honour the tokens beyond March 28 while stocks last.

Which retailers are participating in World Book Day 2021?

All major supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and most large bookshop chains including WH Smith, Waterstones, and Eason are accepting tokens.

The best way to check which of your local retailers and book stores are selling your books is to enter your postcode here.

The World Book Day book tokens cannot be used for online purchases.

What are the £1 books available this year?

This year’s World Book Day tokens scheme runs until March 28 (Picture: Getty)

The books available this year are once again suitable for all ages.

From Tom Fletcher’s ‘There’s a wolf in your book’ for primary school children through to Holly Jackson’s ‘Kill Joy’ for teenagers, there’s something for everyone.

For a full list of books available using the £1 scheme, visit the World Book Day website.


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