Wanganui was among the cities and towns throughout the country yesterday to launch the Travelling Books project that will see another 7000 books on the move.
The project was launched at Government House by Sir Jerry Mateparae and involves leaving books in public places for others to find, read and pass on.
Now in its third year, the Travelling Books project was initiated by Literacy Aotearoa and New Zealand Post, to foster a love of reading.
Kindergartens joined the Tawhero School community yesterday to hear local politician, lawyer and author Hamish McDouall and Whanganui Learning Centre manager Gail Harrison talk about the importance of reading.
Mr McDouall held up his dictionary with 2200 pages: "It's all about words ... all about language."
Travelling Book hunters will recognise the new releases by a distinctive sticker on the cover.
Inside the cover they will find easy-to-follow instructions on how to pass the books on once they have finished reading.
"Leave it in a dry place for the next person to pick it up and take it home to read," Mrs Harrison told the children.
Each book has a unique code inside the front cover, so anyone who picks it up and reads it is invited to log on to the Literacy Aotearoa website and record its title and location.
Everyone who reports a book sighting goes into a monthly draw to win one of two $50 Prezzy Cards donated by NZ Post.
Huia Publishers, Random House, Gecko Press and Scholastic all offered generous discounts to support the project.
Among the children's selection of 11 books are Dinosaur Rescue - Stego Snottysaurus by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley, Ta Tarau o Papa Koroua by Joy Watson, and Margaret Mahy's Organ Music.
Seven books are in the young adult fiction category, 10 in the adult fiction, and nine in the adult non-fiction, which includes Julian Arahanga's Born to Fly - the Story of John Pohe.
Mr Pohe grew up in Putiki and Taihape and was one of the 76 Allied air force officers who escaped from a WWII prisoner of war camp in Poland. The film The Great Escape was based on their exploits. Mr Pohe and two other New Zealanders were among those recaptured and who were shot on Hitler's orders.
Literacy Aotearoa chief executive Bronwyn Yates said the aim of the project was to make books readily available to New Zealanders everywhere.
"It highlights the power of giving, builds community and is a practical, grassroots approach to promoting literacy," Ms Yates said.
The ultimate aim was to raise people's awareness that adult literacy was a major national issue.
"We are celebrating literacy in a way that focuses on the positive and fun aspects of reading, learning and expanding our worlds,"she said.