We love books, and our friends at UNESCO agree. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization proposed World Book Day as a day of celebrating the joy of reading for enjoyment.
One hundred countries observe World Book Day, and why not?
Children who regularly read for enjoyment have higher test scores, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures than their non-reading counterparts. Whether you read traditional paperbound books or turn to your Kindle/iPad/whatever, reading’s a passport to this and many other worlds.
So celebrate with us on April 23! Here’s how to harness your inner bookworm — and maybe get a free book.
World Book Day Activities
Dress like a literary character (Jay Gatsby, anyone?)
Keep it fashionable like the Fitzgerald novel. Or go outlandish, wearing robes that invoke the spirit of Tolkien or dresses that are Jane Austen-inspired. Bonus points if you can encourage a group of friends or co-workers to join you!
Support local booksellers
Neighborhood bookstores bring so much to a community! Don't have one where you live? Visit your local library and take out as many books as your arms can hold. Oh, make sure you have a library card first.
Host a book club
The only thing better than reading a fantastic book is talking about it with other people who love it as much as you do. Celebrate World Book Day by hosting a dinner based on your favorite book or series. It doesn’t have to be just adults either. Imagine your child’s excitement at having a dinner based on their favorite storybook. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle has tons of healthy (and some not-so-healthy) food in it that would make a great dinner.
Or, if you’d prefer, go upscale and create a menu based on foodie fiction like "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café" by Fannie Flagg, or Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club."
Why We Love World Book Day
Many companies will offer free eBooks to download to your device, so be sure to check out the offers and score as many as you can.
In Spain, it's customary to give books as presents on World Book Day. Kids in the UK receive tokens which they can take to a local bookseller for discounts. Sweden observes World Book Day with writing competitions across schools and colleges.
Hard to believe, but sales of printed books are on the rise in the U.S. — again! Statista reports American bought nearly 700 million in 2018 — the most since 2010.
Read our lips
Studies show reading for pleasure can reduce cortisol levels, better known to most of us as stress. It also improves memory and brain function. Fiction helps readers step into another person’s shoes and makes us more empathetic. Reading also increases attention span and can help you live longer.