JK Rowling, the billionaire author of the Harry Potter novels, has won an Outstanding Achievement Award and praise from Prime Minister Gordon Brown at this year's Galaxy British Book Awards, better known as the Nibbies.
"She has joined a distinguished line of British authors whose work has got the whole country reading, and whose books will be read for many years to come by successive generations," the Prime Minister said in his presentation speech at the Grosvenor House hotel on Wednesday night.
"She has been incredibly generous with her time and her money supporting some of the UK's most deserving charities, but always in a quiet way," Brown said.
On her part, Rowling said that she was pleased "I haven't been pensioned off just yet with a Lifetime Achievement Award", an honour bestowed last year on thriller writer John Grisham.
The award, billed as the UK publishing industry's equivalent to the Oscars, was Rowling's fifth Nibbie win, having previously won the children's book category twice, as well as the author and book of the year categories.
Meanwhile author Ian McEwan was crowned the Galaxy Book of the Year award for his svelte tragedy of sexual manners, On Chesil Beach (Cape). He was also named the Reader's Digest Author of the Year, edging out Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing.
Now in their 19th year, the British Book Awards are known as the "Nibbies," after their nib-shaped trophies. The winners are chosen in votes cast by both the public and the Academy of the British Book Industry, whose 800 members include publishers, booksellers and past winners. The trophies are the only prizes.