Happy World Book Day!
If most of you don’t know, World Book Day is annual celebration of what else…books! UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) designate this day as a worldwide celebration of books and reading.
World Book Day is heavily promoted in the UK and Ireland. Their celebration activities are extensive and very impressive. Encouraging young children to dress up as their favorite characters, discount vouchers to use on books, and contests and competitions are just the many activities that surround this amazing event. Just take a look at their websites:
World Book Day is recognized by over 100 countries. But it does not appear to be recognized by any US book related organizations. National Reading Day was celebrated on January 23 without any fanfare and I am not considering that as positive thing. You are probably asking: Does any US group organize a special day for books?
The answer to that question: we did. World Book Night (US) was spawned due to the popularity of the World Book Night event that occurred in the UK and Ireland. Their mission was similar to World Book Day, to promote adult literacy. The event would distribute over half a million books to communities. Unfortunately, due to financial strain and funding World Book Night (US) had to cease operations after only three years.
How is this acceptable? Major publishers found the time conspire with Apple to price fix e-book prices but they could not find the time to donate books to help this event survive? Bookstores take some part of the blame as well. I really cannot remember any of the bookstores in my neighborhood partaking in World Book Night last year. And if they did, there was very low promotion for it. Amazon may not have acknowledge this day but they acknowledge this March as National Reading Month on their website. I could not find any recognition for this event on other bookstores’ websites.
Maybe I am speaking too soon. World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is geared more towards children and UNESCO designates April 23 as World Book and Copyright Day, so maybe we just didn’t get to have our chance yet to shine. But that does not mean we shouldn’t honor this event, even if it happening in other countries. Books still hold a prominent place in our society. Shouldn’t we do our best to promote adult and, especially, children literacy across the globe?
We may not recognize today as World Book Day but that shouldn’t stop you. So dress up as your favorite book character or put on your favorite book jewelery and show the world your love for books. Or do what bookworms know how to best, especially on a New York snowy day: pull up a chair, pour yourself a hot cup your favorite tea, and enter into your favorite world.
Again, happy World Book Day!