It's time to turn off the computer and smartphone, and pick up a book.

Tomorrow between 5pm and midnight, the first-ever Book Night will be held in New Zealand.

Individuals, families, friends are invited to sit and read, either a hard copy book or an e-reader, for a minimum of 15 minutes. Everyone who participates is in to win prizes.

Paige's Book Gallery is marking the event with the launch of local writer Saisy Gilbert's (writing as Margaret Waddingham) book, The Cliffs of Levuka.


Lesley Stead from Paige's Book Gallery said Ms Gilbert will read a passage from her book, but other people will be invited to read also, thus fulfilling the requirements for Book Night.

Mrs Stead said Ms Gilbert was an inspiration to all readers and writers.

"This is her first book, which she's written in her 70s. And she's already writing her second one. She's a great example of what you can do if you keep your brain active through reading and writing."

Mrs Stead said even in an age of pervasive technology, books still have a place in people's lives.

"Regularly reading keeps people mentally alert, and has positive effects on memory, on stress levels, our aptitude for imagination and compassion."

Book Night is hosted by Book Discussion Scheme, an organisation that provides books to more than 1100 book groups .

If you plan to take part in Book Night, register at, and you could win prizes including a $150 book voucher.