How to Throw a Literary Party for World Book Day

World Book Day is just around the corner, and if you can’t make it to the World Book Day Fest coming March 3rd, we have an idea for you: throw a party! A literary themed party is an excellent reason to gather your book loving friends and discuss recent movie adaptations and upcoming sequels to your favorite books, argue over which author wrote the best sci-fi series, or dress up as your favorite character!


Here are some ideas on how to prepare and execute a fun Literary Party:

1. Form a little book club ahead of time

Some people are way too busy to commit to a weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly meet-up to chat about a book. If it’s not too late, try to rally your friends to read a book before the party. Then the party can double as a book-club meeting with snacks, drinks, and confetti (or maybe just funfetti). It may be so much fun that this one-time book club will turn into an ongoing affair.


2. Give the party a theme

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Themed parties are always fun! Think up a fun way for people to celebrate their favorite books and get your friends to dress up. Decorate the party room and prepare appropriately themed food. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking guests to bring something to the party as well!

Some themed ideas for you to build on include:

1. Gatsby’s 1920s

2. Stephen King Freight

3. Harry Potter Wizarding Tournament

4. Orwellian Dystopian Worlds

5. Russian Literary Realism Luncheon

6. Alice in Wonderland Tea Party (but don’t be a Mad Hatter Host; include tea and snacks!)

7. Children’s Classics (Seuss could be a good one!)

This list could go on forever…  


3. Play a movie adaptation in the background

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Sometimes having a movie playing in the background of a party can add a nice ambiance – depending on the mood you’re going for. Play The Shining or Pet Sematary for a horror or Stephen King-themed party to truly spook your guests, or Anna Karenina during a a fancy lunch to induce a classy feeling. 

If you prefer to sit down and watch the movie at your party, go ahead! Afterwards, party-goers can have a discussion about how spot-on or dreadful the adaptation was. For inspiration, check out our list of great film adaptions, as well as films that are nothing like the movie


4. Make snacks, drinks, and dishes that appear in the literary world

Whether you make it a themed party or not, preparing (or buying) food and drinks from the literary world will excite and “wow” your guests. Fill a silver tray with delicious Turkish Delights (in honor of The Chronicles of Narnia); put out a goblet filled with Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and make your guests guess which flavor they’re about to devour (or spit up); make mini cakes labeled “Eat Me!” and little bottles of liquid with signs saying “Drink Me!” and watch party-goers shrink or grow (or pretend to…). 

Attempt Katniss’s favorite meal- lamb stew with dried plums. Find the recipe here.

Our book-food quiz may help you – plus, it’s a lot of fun! The Little Library Café is also filled with fun recipes from books (some are harder to make than others). 


5. Play book games

Games are always an excellent way to keep a party going, especially for the competitive bunch in the group. Try playing charades with a literary angle. You may want to have a special prize for the winner- a fun mug catered towards literary lovers, an awesome edition of a book, or a hand-made “Congratulations, you’re a winner” note all work. Here are some game ideas:

1. Split your party into teams (depending on the size, you may have 2 teams or 4, it’s up to you). Have every guest write a few characters or book titles on a piece of paper and put all slips into a hat. Every guest must randomly choose from the hat, and then describe the character or book to their teammates – but make sure to time them (20 seconds sounds ample), and keep going until their teams gets it wrong. The winners get something special, like cute bookmarks. 

2. This game is similar, but their are no teams. Everyone, sitting in a circle, writes a character from a book or a famous author on a small piece of paper and passes it two people to the left. This is important – no one can look at what is written on the piece of paper they receive. With a piece of tape, guests paste the paper with the character or author names on their shirt (or forehead). Everyone takes turns asking yes or no questions about who their character is. If they get a “yes” (for example, they ask “Is my character fictional?” and the answer is “yes”) they can ask a more pointed question, such as “What genre is my character from?” The game keeps going until guests figure out who is on their slip!

3. The quotes game: have all your guests bring quotes to the party, split them into teams, and have them – one at a time – read their quotes to the opposing team. The opposing team must work together to figure out which book the quote came from.  


6. Make a crafts table

This could be fun for adults or children. Have a crafts table with colored paper and fun material like felt and glitter (whatever you are willing to clean up!) Your guests can make booksmarks or re-imagine book covers. 


7. Give out party favors

You can make all sorts of DIY party favors, from cookies adorned with book themes (or deliciously plain), to decorated pieces of paper with your favorite quotes from authors on them. If you want to go all out, get your guests little ‘book’ bags and add a short story or two in there. A nice pen and a little notepad could be nice too, because almost any avid reader has a thing for writing as well.  


8. Book-gift exchange

Get each guest to bring their favorite book (new or used) and have them exchange it with another guest (at random, so there’s no fighting over books).  


Most of all- have fun! 

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