In honor of World Book Day – a day dedicated to authors, illustrators and readers across the globe, celebrated annually on 23rd April 2017 – Amazon hosted a Global Free Library event series, where communities around the world were invited to celebrate their love of reading and books. Global Free Library events were held in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Across twelve countries, Amazon employees, local community members and book publishers donated more than 17,200 books to bring the Global Free Library event series to life. In the spirit of World Book Day, readers that attended were encouraged to leave a book they love and want to share, and to discover and select a new book (or ebook) to bring home and read. At the end of each event, remaining books were donated to local charities. The global events brought together more than 7,400 participants to celebrate reading and included activities ranging from photo booths and book-inspired latte art to temporary tattoos of popular book quotes and more than 25 author and storyteller readings.

“Books are home to us at Amazon. Our company started with books and they remain core to what we do,” said Robin Mendelson, Director of Books & Media, Amazon. “The power of reading and the power that books have to transform lives and shape communities is as strong as ever. Around the world, readers visited our Global Free Library events and took part in reading, sharing and discovering new books. We were so appreciative to receive the support of publishers, customers and our own employees to give back to local communities and institutions that are vital to the promotion of literacy and literature. Amazon employees had such a great time joining families and our local communities around the world who took time out of their days to share in the love of reading.”

In Seattle, hundreds of books were donated to local non-profits Mary’s Place and the Pike Place Market Foundation. “These books will brighten up our library and give our kids the ability to travel, learn, experiment, dream, hope, win, teach, inspire, build and create a brighter future,” said Marty Hartman, Executive Director, Mary’s Place. “There is no greater gift.”

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