World Book Night

 

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

No, it’s not Christmas. Today is UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Book and Copyright Day! Today, the world recognizes what we book lovers already knew…the great effect that books have on our lives and the continued support we can give them. UNESCO couldn’t even say it better myself:

Books are invaluable platforms for freedom of expression and the free flow of information – these are essential for all societies today. The future of the book as a cultural object is inseparable from the role of culture in promoting more inclusive and sustainable pathways to development.”

Now don’t confuse this with the UK’s and Ireland’s World Book Day that occurred in March. The sentiments are the same and March’s book day is geared more towards kids, this day has a particular literary reference. On this day in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died while prominent authors Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo were all born on April 23.

Yet again, across the world various events are organized to celebrate the joys

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of reading. One of the most popular event is World Book Night that occurs in
the UK and Ireland. For the past five years, readers and non-readers alike have enjoyed diverse events celebrating the joys of reading. This year, these are the 26 books they are giving away:

  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
  • One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell
  • The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Payback by Elizabeth Chambers
  • Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
  • The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Ferdinand von Schirach
  • Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo
  • The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 Years Old by Hendrik Groen

  • Faded Glory by David Essex
  • The Secret Marriage Pact by Georgie Lee
  • Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
  • Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

  • The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink
  • The Missing by C.L. Taylor
  • False Nine by Philip Kerr
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta
  • The Good Son by Paul McVeigh
  • The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
  • Streets of Darkness by A. A. Dhand
  • The Traitor by Jonathan Holt
  • The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond
  • A Very Distant Shore: Quick Reads by Jenny Colgan
  • Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the US. Just like in March, there is little or no mention of World Book and Copyright Day. I can only find two events occurring here. One, International Day of the Book Festival taking place in Kensington, MD and the BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Drive sponsored by the Harry Potter Alliance and Book Riot. This one has a lot of promise since this  is happening in various cities.

Book Riot Event that occured over 2 years ago

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the US. Just like in March, there is little or no mention of World Book and Copyright Day. I can only find two events occurring here. One, International Day of the Book Festival taking place in Kensington, MD and the BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Drive sponsored by the Harry Potter Alliance and Book Riot. However, this occurred over two years ago and I have not seen any evidence of occurring again. Even though these two events show promise, more has to be done to promote this great day. Every day, I see article after article, publishers happy that print book sales are increasing, even in this digital age. But, yet you can’t spare to give away books to promote reading? There was a World Book Night in the US but had to be terminated due to lack of funding. Some authors (*cough* James Patterson *cough*) go on record stating that we need to support our independent bookstores and print books are important, especially in the “age of Amazon”. But where is your support for a World Book Day in the US? This day is like a national holiday for readers of all ages! We celebrate what you authors also love…the written word.  Why wouldn’t you want to support this great day?

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the US. Just like in March, there is little or no mention of World Book and Copyright Day. I can only find two events occurring here. One, International Day of the Book Festival taking place in Kensington, MD and the BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Drive sponsored by the Harry Potter Alliance and Book Riot. However, this occurred over two years ago and I have not seen any evidence of occurring again.

Just because publishers and some authors won’t get off their buts to support this day that doesn’t mean we can’t do it ourselves. To my  UK and Irish readers, you have so many World Book Night events to choose from the long list. They all sound so amazing and I am actually jealous you guys get to take part in it. If you’re in any of the US cities where the Book Riot event is taking place and have time to spare ( I have to work during those times), donate books and celebrate with fellow booknerds. If you can’t participate in these exciting events, do what we book lovers do every day: curl up with your favorite book and bask in the joy of reading.

I’ll be, of course, reading to my heart’s content and wearing a little book jewelry on the side.

5 thoughts on “World Book Night

  1. Good Morning and happy World Book Night to you! I’ll be giving out The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry tonight, in celebration! Have you read it? X

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