Reading is a novel idea- Happy World Book Day!

There is no friend as loyal as a book”- Ernest Hemingway

Today, on April 23, we celebrate what is known as World Book Day, one of many national and international literature days to appreciate and advertise books and reading. It is a page-turner kind of day, greatly celebrated in the United Kingdom, which is also where I had my first encounter with this rather special day in 2021. I cannot remember ever hearing about something similar throughout my childhood and school years so it was an interesting event to witness. But why did they choose April 23rd as a set date for World Book Day? The most important factor here is that this date has great significance in the literary field as it is the death day of many famous and influential writers such as William Shakespeare or Inca Garcilaso de la Vega

Fun Fact: Today is not only World Book Day but back in 1995, UNESCO officially attributed the 23rd of April as World Book and Copyright Day.

Back in 2021, I was working with children in the UK through which I had the opportunity to see and participate in many activities for this day. Generally, many activities and events are organised, either on a larger scale by the towns or in smaller settings such as schools. Here, people of all age groups can participate in events such as book donations, readings, and internal school events. 

How can you participate?

  • Donate books you no longer need yourself. This allows people to get books they might not be able to afford under normal circumstances.
  • Reading Challenges
  • Costumes
    • Dress as your favourite book character- either for an event or just for a private picture opportunity. Pinterest offers many great ideas if you do not know where to start.
  • Book Swap: exchange your favourite books
  • Reading Rocket Competition in schools
    • For every read page, the teacher gets to fill in the rocket and after a set time range, the kids will get a prize if they can fill up the whole thing.
  • Book Charades
  • Personalised Book Recommendations
    • If a book reminds you of someone or you think they would like it, recommend it with a little list of convincing reasons why it made you think of them. 
  • Unconventional Reading Places
    • This is an activity I already participated in and I noticed that many children like this kind of task. Here, you should brainstorm the most unconventional reading places you could find to take a picture in. You must think about whether you’d actually be able to read more than a sentence in this spot. This offers the children a challenge- Prove that you can read in your spot. My proteges back then chose the craziest spots but when we talked about the possibility of them actually going there and reading they started to think differently. Eventually, we ended up reading in the chicken coop, in our rat enclosure, having our own little reading with them and in the backyard hanging from our roll-over bars. Having found these spots, the girls were motivated to get some reading done in their spaces.

As the unconventional reading paces have shown, the purpose of World Book Day is to approach literature interactively so children, but also adults, get involved and do not solely feel like they have the task to read- it aims to make reading fun, something to look forward to. 

Here, in honour of the so-called “Leselust” Oliver Jeffers’ The Incredible Book Eating Boy would be of great recommendation channelling this exact feeling of developing a passion for literature. Henry enjoys books rather much but not in our conventional way of reading them but he prefers eating them, gulping down every book he can get his hands on to become the smartest boy ever. 

In honour of World Book Day, a list of some of my favourite books (Children’s to Young Adult):

  • The Scourge of the Dinner Ladies by David Tinkler
  • Mr Men and Little Miss Series by Adam and Roger Hargreaves
  • Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadow
  • Alice Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
  • Famous Five by Enid Blyton
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • Powerless by Lauren Roberts
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  • Caraval and Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garner
  • Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Did you know that today is World Book Day? Will you participate in any way? What activity would you choose?

Happy World Book Day, let’s bookmark this moment as a chapter to remember!

Lisa A.