BOOK THOUGHTS ON THURSDAY | WORLD BOOK DAY

Book Thoughts On Thursday

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!

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http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/world-book-day-2015-1-books-literary-costumes-mark-worldwide-celebration-reading-1490427

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).

World Book Day costumes

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!)

4 thoughts on “BOOK THOUGHTS ON THURSDAY | WORLD BOOK DAY

  1. M.

    It's tricky. I grew up without TV, and felt horribly left out. It sucked not knowing what the other kids were talking about and never having the latest fads. So I don't think kids should be forcibly kept without newfangled gadgets. But I also don't think it's healthy to let them be on them all the time, either. I guess the trick is finding a happy medium, and making reading something that is fun rather than a chore so kids actually WANT to do it. I don't think that smartphones, tablets etc. are necessarily to blame. I read somewhere that something like 40% of college grads never read another book after finishing school. These are people who grew up at least 20 years ago. And those who actually continued to post-secondary education, indicating literacy and some level of academic ability. So I think the problem is more that reading isn't being prioritized and made part of family life, not just that social media, TV etc. are taking over. I've been a reader my whole life (I used to get in trouble for reading books under my desk during class), so it's just natural to me to consider books a wonderful and enjoyable diversion. I think this is another reason to get schools teaching books kids are interested in reading. I mean, sure, throw in classics, but pick some books that will get kids interested too. I'm not a parent or a teacher, though, so I don't really know how curriculum works these days!

    Reply
  2. M.

    It's tricky. I grew up without TV, and felt horribly left out. It sucked not knowing what the other kids were talking about and never having the latest fads. So I don't think kids should be forcibly kept without newfangled gadgets. But I also don't think it's healthy to let them be on them all the time, either. I guess the trick is finding a happy medium, and making reading something that is fun rather than a chore so kids actually WANT to do it. I don't think that smartphones, tablets etc. are necessarily to blame. I read somewhere that something like 40% of college grads never read another book after finishing school. These are people who grew up at least 20 years ago. And those who actually continued to post-secondary education, indicating literacy and some level of academic ability. So I think the problem is more that reading isn't being prioritized and made part of family life, not just that social media, TV etc. are taking over. I've been a reader my whole life (I used to get in trouble for reading books under my desk during class), so it's just natural to me to consider books a wonderful and enjoyable diversion. I think this is another reason to get schools teaching books kids are interested in reading. I mean, sure, throw in classics, but pick some books that will get kids interested too. I'm not a parent or a teacher, though, so I don't really know how curriculum works these days!

    Reply
  3. Katie McD

    Great post! I have thought about kids and reading as well, and what kind of impact the internet, and iPads, and iPhones has/will have on reading. Growing up, we didn't have a computer until I was 10 years old, so reading was it, and I LOVED IT! Now, in stores or waiting rooms, you see kids on their phones or tablets or whatever, and most likely aren't reading. (While I sit there with my 50lb hardback book). These things, obviously, don't only impact kids, but have certainly impacted my reading as well. I vividly remember have SSR, or Sustained Silent Reading, at school… and I think I should re-institute that in my own life… have time for social media, and then devoted unplugged time for reading! Do kids still do SSR in school? Excellent post, and interesting topic!

    Reply
  4. Katie McD

    Great post! I have thought about kids and reading as well, and what kind of impact the internet, and iPads, and iPhones has/will have on reading. Growing up, we didn't have a computer until I was 10 years old, so reading was it, and I LOVED IT! Now, in stores or waiting rooms, you see kids on their phones or tablets or whatever, and most likely aren't reading. (While I sit there with my 50lb hardback book). These things, obviously, don't only impact kids, but have certainly impacted my reading as well. I vividly remember have SSR, or Sustained Silent Reading, at school… and I think I should re-institute that in my own life… have time for social media, and then devoted unplugged time for reading! Do kids still do SSR in school? Excellent post, and interesting topic!

    Reply

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