World Book Day is a day when the author gets to meet the reader. Well! That’s what it means to me and that is why it is such an important day in my calendar. Writing can be a lonesome journey so I always embrace the opportunity to meet and talk to the my readers. World Book Day is a day for celebrating the wonderful gift of reading which should never ever be taken for granted. The gift of a book is one of the most precious gifts a child will ever receive. I remember the day I was handed a second hand copy of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It totally opened up my imagination and sent me on an amazing literary journey which I feel I’m still on, even to this day. Happy World Book Day everyone! Read a book – give a book – share a book…….
For someone whose life is filled with reading and writing, the notion of an entire day where the world celebrates books is a good one to me. I hope that World Book Day will encourage more people to lose themselves in the pages of a book this year.
Whether I’m searching for lost treasure in the Sierra Madras or watching Blue Whales through the periscope of my submarine, a book can take me to all these magical places from the safety of my own sitting room. World Book Day is like Valentine’s Day for books. It reminds us how much we love them, how important books are to us and encourages us to pop down to our local library or book store and go on another adventure. I think I’ll go to space next.
An afternoon in November mid-term. It was dull and dreary even before the power cut. At the back of a cupboard, I found my childhood copy of Heidi. I lit all the candles I could find, and daughter and I lay on the couch, taking turns to read aloud. All we had was a tattered old book and our imaginations, but soon I could almost hear the tinkling of Heidi’s goats’ bells, above the wailing of the wind. A world without books doesn’t even bear thinking about.
You don’t need a rocket ship to reach the moon. Or an oxygen tank to explore the deep. You don’t need a time machine to ride the Wild West. Or an interpreter to understand a child from Afghanistan. All you need is a book.
You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!” These are the closing lines of Dr. Seuss’s last book, Oh, the Places you’ll Go! and also a reminder of the infinity of places we can travel to within the pages of a book. Start a new one right now. And if you are not already a member of your local library, join at once. There is more treasure in it than in all the pirates’ loot in Treasure Island. Happy World Book Day, everyone.
My son was hailed by his friend John in the shopping centre. He took him aside and said “I bought your Dad’s book Lest We Forget yesterday. I took it home intending to read a few chapters that night. Started and couldn’t put it down. I finished reading the book at 4a.m. I was re-living a world I had known so well -delightful, nostalgic.
If I had my way, every day would be World Book Day because what could be better than curling up with a good read and immersing yourself in the story? A great book can make you laugh or cry, sometimes simultaneously. It can transport you to far flung destinations, or it can take you on an inner journey back to your own heart. You never know what you’ll discover or how the story will end, but that’s half the fun because the truth is you can never be lonely when you have a book to read. So this World Book Day why not pick up a book and lose yourself for an hour or two – who knows what could happen?
I’ve just finished writing a Quick Read, which is a novella for adults who are learning to read. My mother used to work as a volunteer with an Irish literacy group called NALA, so this is something I’ve been interested in for many years. So many people leave school with literacy problems and then spend their lives ashamed and hiding it. They can’t help their kids with homework or read directions on medicine bottles unless they take that marvellous step of signing up for an adult literacy class. It’s such a brave thing to do – let’s face it, you have to admit to something you’ve hidden your whole life and then, the courage to say you want to learn when school and teachers are probably linked in your head forever with shame and horror.
Think about your early reading experiences: the joy of choosing from among so many exciting titles and taking a book home with you; being able to lie in comfort by a window against which the rain is beating, while safe and dry you journey with Harald Sigurdson through black storms and over bitter waves; or spending a holiday afternoon escaping through the back of a large wardrobe into a land of witches and talking animals. No film or computer game can match a good book because only the book takes you in to the mind of the character, sharing their experiences and emotions.
As a celebration of communication and creativity around the planet, World Book Day is even more important now than it has ever been. It’s greatest value is in the way it brings authors, readers of all ages and tastes, publishers, booksellers, teachers, librarians and the media together with the single focus of remembering the treasures and opportunities that books continue to provide.
We live in stories, we live through stories, we live for stories. Whatever we like to think about, talk to our friends about, shout about, laugh or cry or rage about, these are the things we like to read about. Books are the most interesting, most dramatic and exciting bits of life laid out in words and pictures for us to take in at our own pace and in our own way. Because the best parts of any book are inside our own heads, they can be fast or slow, loud or quiet, funny or sad – or so exciting our hearts pound beneath our ribs. Whether we read them on a crowded train or alone under the covers on a stormy night, books are food for our brains, fuel for our emotions. Somewhere out there is a book which, when you read it, will make your chest tighten and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. When you finally put it down, it will be with that magical mixture of joy as the emotional rollercoaster clatters to a stop, and disappointment that this wonderful tale is over. You will be gagging for the next one. There is no such person as a non-reader, only someone who hasn’t found their book yet. World Book Day is the day when we try to find that book for each and every person in the country.
People celebrate all kinds of things from birthdays to weddings, St Patrick’s Day to Pancake Day, so having a day to celebrate books across the world seems a great idea! Books are the things that make us laugh and cry, be sad or happy, scared or amazed. They make us ask questions and want to find out about things or fill our heads with stories and use our imagination. We clap and cheer when babies learn to smile and sit, walk and talk but one of the most important things any child learns to do is to look at a book, to turn the page, then to try to say the words and then begin to read. A simple thing but one of the most important things most of us will ever learn to do. Across the world writers create stories and write books that make us want to sit down and read them. Stories about baby owls, boy wizards, little witches, spy kids, an elephant and a monkey, books about mermaids, dragons ghosts and giants all come tumbling from the pages of books. So the only thing to be recommended on World Book Day is to celebrate and sit right down and pick up a book and read it!
Reading is pure escapism for me. No matter what your age, whether you prefer fact or fiction, join the magic and wonder of World Book Day. Working with children on a daily basis I’ve seen first hand how books and reading can open up a whole new world for young people; a world I hope many more will explore thanks to this day. Enjoy!
Books, books, books. Where can one begin when describing the wonderful things that are books. Books spread ideas and stories, inform, enlighten, thrill, fascinate, excite. Books fuel our imagination and transport us off to new places and situations. Books possess the most immense power- the power to make us laugh or cry, to scare us or to reassure us, to keep us on the edge of our seats, hanging on every single word. All this power, contained in those bound printed pages. Books contain more than simple letters arranged neatly into words on paper. Books are the cradle of creativity and knowledge. Books contain whole worlds. And these worlds, these innumerable universes are all at our fingertips. All we have to do is reach out and turn the page. World Book Day reminds us of all this, and gives us the gentle nudge to read those first few sentences that are the gateway to another realm. Happy reading!
The wonderful thing about reading is that it allows you to escape into another world. As a child, I couldn’t wait to pick out new books in the library. Thankfully, my passion for reading has stayed with me. World Book Day is a fantastic time to start reading a new book, so happy reading everyone!
There hasn’t been a day since I first learned to read that I haven’t had one (or more) books on the go. Reading has given me great pleasure over the years and I hope that my own writing gives the same pleasure to other readers. You are never alone when you have a book to read!
Books are terrible! Books are full of hair-raising action, gut-churning plot twists, and no-details-spared nookie. Books are more radical, edgier and sexier than films or TV shows. Books are far too exciting and revolutionary for children – they encourage free-thought and independence. I think books should be banned outright for anyone under the age of 18. Do society a favour and burn a book on World Book Day! If we succeed in our mission to get rid of all the books in the world, every child will grow up into a soulless, imaginationless robot, and just think how much happier we’ll all be then!!!
Surprise yourself – open a book and open your mind to a new world. Rememebr, the best pictures are in the mind.
Good luck with World Book Day 2013, I hope it’s a fantastic success. A good read is one of life’s greatest and sometimes forgotten pleasures.
World Book Day is a fantastic way of celebrating books and reading and I support it 100%. When I was a on-the-floor children’s bookseller I loved seeing all the kids coming in clutching their tokens and getting their special book – and now the World Book Day books are even better. Good luck to everyone involved in World Book Day 2013 and I hope it’s a huge success for you all!