There’s a day to commemorate almost anything from the birthday of a country on an international level to celebrating the joy of eating cupcakes to tacos. Then we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, National Siblings Day, and of course, a day reserved to honour our furry pet friends. We’re a fickle people. Every day is a celebration of something, if not to celebrate the intimate, yet almost unnoticeable act of breathing.
But, I believe World Book Day should not be taken for granted.
According to the Huffington Post based on the study by The Organization for Economic Cooporation and Development (OCED) in 2012, Canada placed 17th in high literacy and numeracy rates, a lower ranking on the list compared to countries such as Korea, Japan, Netherlands, and Finland, the top-ranking countries consecutively.
Another report from the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network reported that 42 percent of adults have low literary skills, which leaves almost half of adult Canadians at an unfortunate disadvantage.
It’s an undeniable privilege, then, to be able to read—and to read freely.
Many countries inhibit women and young girls to read, or control what kind of literature is deemed acceptable by enforcing strict book bans.
In Canada, literacy is a powerful resource, one that is readily encouraged in schools, the workplace, and in our communities at large, including the social media community, which is now saturated with book publishers, book editors, book bloggers, book reviewers, and enthusiastic readers worldwide.
What you can do for World Book Day…and beyond:
Believe it or not, there is more you can do than simply read for World Book Day (but, don’t let me stop you from doing that because I wholly encourage reading on a daily basis if you can!):
- Visit your local public library and borrow some new books or old classics. Consider reading a genre you’ve never tried before. Ask your librarian for book recommendations if you’re unsure where to start.
- Join a book club. Check listings at your local public library or bookstore.
- Create your own book club with friends and family.
- Create your own free book library outside your home, a small space where books are left for neighbours to pick up, borrow, and/or trade. It’s based entirely on an honour system or a means of sharing books you’ve already read with your community.
- Volunteer at your local school or public library as a reading mentor.
- Donate books to your local school, hospital, or home care facility.
- Attend book events and author readings in your community.
- Read and buy literary magazines.
- Donate to book charities or writing organizations.
- Leave copies of books around your community for others to discover and read.
- Read and review books online.
- Rather than purchase toys or other expected gifts as presents for family, friends, and children in your life, invest in buying books for them instead.
- Look up a new word regularly to increase your literacy and vocabulary.
- Make some time to do a crossword.
- Read with your children daily.
- Create your own bookmarks and send them to family and friends.
- Throw a book party to celebrate the launch of a new book or host a social for your book club.
- Host a book giveaway.
- Encourage others to read.
- Make time to read on a daily basis.
How did you celebrate World Book Day today?
What book(s) are you currently reading?
What do you enjoy most about reading?
What funny book-related habits do you have?
Is there a particular book you highly recommend?