Break out your reading glasses and favorite mug of hot coffee, because it’s National Read a Book Day! Some people just can’t stop reading, but most of us tend to put reading on the back burner with other “maybe later” activities like hitting the gym or cleaning the oven. Life can definitely get in the way of our reading time, but National Read a Book Day is the perfect opportunity to make some time in your life to read. Whether you’re a sci-fi fanatic, a non-fiction buff, or a not-so-often reader, there is a book out there just for you. This holiday literately reminds us that entertainment isn’t limited to what you can watch on a screen or hear through your speakers. Books can bring whole new worlds to life, not to mention shed light on world events and share perspectives on the human experience in a way that other mediums just can’t. In a world of increasing technology and screen-based communication, National Read a Book Day encourages us to switch off and turn the pages for a while.
When is National Read a Book Day 2018?
National Read a Book Day falls on September 6th, every year—easy to remember, which frees up more mental space to read!
National Read a Book Day - Survey Results
National Read a Book Day - History
Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" is published; it's the first book to be written on a typewriter
"The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye"
Englishman William Caxton prints the first English book on a printing press; the text is Caxton's translation of French stories about Troy
The first mass-printed book is produced in Mainz, Germany by Johann Gutenberg; it's a Latin Bible
National Read a Book Day Activities
1. Read a book
Maybe reading's not your thing. Maybe the last time you read a book was in school. (Maybe you didn't even read books in school.) But for National Read a Book Day, you can make an exception and thumb through a handbook about something that interests you. If you're a less reluctant reader, pick up that book you've been meaning to read and get to it! Whether you like print books you can hold in your hands or digital books you swipe across the screen, decide on something and read it. You'll be glad you did.
2. Donate books to your library
Chances are you have a local public library, and chances are your library could use a helping hand. Though books have lost popularity of late, libraries do a lot of important work for their communities. Most libraries take donations and some will enlist volunteers to help with special events, community programs, and even daily library tasks. Donating books to your local library is a great way to share knowledge with your community, and book donations often help libraries flesh out their shelves.
3. Read to someone else
As humans, we were meant to tell stories. Cultures around the world have storytelling traditions that date back centuries. When you get together with your friends, you likely share stories about what you've experienced since the last time you saw each other. We all use stories as our main method of communicating with the world. But whether you're telling a personal anecdote or you're reading a book aloud, sharing a story with someone else is known to reinforce bonds and strengthen relationships overall. For National Read a Book Day, you could read to your children, your parents, grandparents, or volunteer at a school, library, or senior center.
Why We Love National Read a Book Day
A. Books are troves of knowledge
Before the internet, books were the main means of storing, accessing, and spreading knowledge. And while the internet is amazing and efficient and better than books in a lot of ways, there are some compelling reasons to keep books around. First off, books don't require a battery and you can access their data during a power outage. There is no server providing books with their information, so it is always ready, right at your fingertips. Books travel without cords or adapters, and while storage of books requires a lot more space than digital storage, a lot of people still prefer to read books in print rather than ebooks on a screen.
B. Reading makes you healthier
Studies show that people who read frequently show less signs of stress and higher problem solving abilities than people who don't. Reading also improves your language comprehension, critical thinking, and communication skills. Frequent readers tend to be more aware of cultural differences and social issues, and they also tend to be more compassionate and understanding. While reading a good book is no substitute for a trip to the doctor, National Read a Book Day promotes awareness for all the physical and mental benefits to reading.
C. It reminds us to keep reading
We're not really a society of readers, but reading is important. In our high-speed era of video clips and SnapChat, books can start to seem kind of irrelevant. But National Read a Book Day is all about keeping that good thing going. Books are a great art form that we can enjoy now more than ever. We've got more access to books than past generations, and our technology makes text-based communications an intrinsic part of our lives. Why not keep reading?