The world of books is never boring. Every week (well, most weeks) I'll discuss a different topic related to books, often inspired by or in response to what's going on in the online book community (or something I've seen another blogger talk about). I call this Book Thoughts on Thursday. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, or even write your own post on the topic and share the link with me!
Today is World Book Day! For those of you who don't know, 18 years ago UNESCO designated one day a year as World Book Day, a day to celebrate authors, books and reading in general. The holiday is aimed at kids, many of whom dress up like their favourite literary characters (even better than Halloween!). Bookish folk like publishers donate vouchers to schools and, with the participation of bookstores, give kids free books (or discounts). There are contests and giveaways to encourage participation, and many schools and teachers celebrate (to find out more, go here).
Of course, I'm a huge fan of anything that gets kids reading and feeling proud to do so. I know we live in a busy world. A world full of distractions like television, YouTube, video games. Maybe I'm finally a "grown up," but I think that if anything, this is even more reason to foster a love of reading.
Diving into a book is such a welcome escape from the busy madness that is modern life. It's a way to take a moment to breathe quietly, to unplug, to exercise our imaginations and enjoy a simple pleasure. I guess, to me, it's like meditation - only better.
Not only that, but the reading I did as a child not only created a lifelong love of reading, but shaped the person I have become. It upsets me to think that kids might be missing out on such an important foundational experience (or continuing to miss out, if you take into account the literacy rate and number of people who never read another book after completing school).
Which is why, even if we're not going to dress up as Alice or Hermione, I think all us grown ups should take the opportunity to really think about what reading has given us in our lives. In my case, it has taught me about parts of the world I've never been (and will probably never go). It has allowed me to look at the world through myriad sets of eyes, each seeing a different landscape. And it has given me something to share with fellow book-lovers - both in real life and through this blog. I can't imagine my life without books - and I don't really want to.
So, for World Book Day, I want to thank all the brilliant authors whose hard work and inspiration has made the world a brighter, more magical place for bookworms the world over!
I'll sign off by sharing my favourite World Book Day image shared by artist Gemma Correll on Twitter this morning:
Now, go to your rooms - and here's to a lovely (and literary) evening for you all! (And I'd love to hear what reading means to you or if you did anything to celebrate WBD in the comments!)