Happy World Book Day! I’m wearing my Blair Book Print dress from Popsy Clothing and my beautiful book earrings which were a gift from a dear friend. This year’s theme is “Reading is Power”, which I’ll be sharing my thoughts on later. But first, here’s a summary of all the fun bookish things going on online and elsewhere today.
- Children and teens should get a £1 World Book Day token from their school or nursery which they can exchange for one of the 2020 £1 books at their local book shop up until Sun 29th March.
- There are fun, social readalongs taking place on Instagram at 7:30pm on Thursday 5th March. Join in by reading Muhammad Khan’s Split or Beth Reekles Kissing Booth and downloading the questions. Then share your thoughts using #WBDreadalong.
- Jojn the WBD Social event by following @WorldBookDayUK on Twitter and @worldbookdaysocial on Instagram. It will include podcasts, book recommendations, playlists, readalongs and “shelfies”.
- Add some empowering YA books to your TBR pile!
- Enjoy these “reading is power” podcasts.
For Writers & Illustrators
- There are some new Share a Story masterclasses available to watch for free, featuring authors and illustrators such as Cressida Cowell, Eoin Colfer, Matthew Syed, Francesca Simon, Matt Haig, Muhammad Khan and Katherine Rundell.
- Get inspired by reading about a day in the life of authors Penny Joelson and Brittney Morris.
For Parents & Teachers
- There are some wonderful video books in the Big Little Book Corner to share with your little ones, including the Tales from Acorn wood series and some popular fairytales.
- Join the Share a Million Stories campaign to start recording your story shares on your profile and help change children’s lives, by making story-sharing a habit of a lifetime.
What “Reading is Power” means to me
For me, reading is an amazing source of knowledge. As an auditory learner, it’s my favourite way to learn. I’ve read various non-fiction books on topics such as psychology, science and mythology which have helped me to understand complicated concepts about the universe and my place in it.
However, I’ve also learned a lot from fiction. “Books are a uniquely portable magic”, as Stephen King puts it. Stories are portals to other times and places, and as well as widening my vocabulary, they have introduced me to characters from all sorts of different backgrounds, giving me insight into their successes and struggles.
The #ownvoices movement has allowed readers to discover books written by POC, LGBTQ+, disabled and neuro-divergent authors. In a world where people can be intimidated, bullied and discriminated against for being different, the experience of reading about a character who looks, acts or thinks like you can be incredibly empowering, especially when it is written by an author who actually understands that identity.
Reading empowers us by showing that we are not alone. One of my favourite quotes illustrates this perfectly:
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”Alan Bennett, The History Boys
They say that knowledge is power, and I am inclined to agree. The more knowledge you have about the world, the more opportunities become available to you. You can discover interesting careers and hobbies, and make informed choices about religion, politics and other issues when you’ve encountered many different perspectives. Reading is my favourite way to gain this knowledge because it’s low-cost, risk-free and, most importantly, fun!
Over to you…
Are you doing anything special for World Book Day? What does “reading is power” mean to you?