Today is World Book Day! It may seem there is something everyday – it is a fact actually – and it seems everything has a day. Today is also Cheese Doodle Day, Absinthe Day and Name Tag Day. Some others where you may wonder what there is to celebrate are these: False Teeth Day, Get Over It Day, Watermelon Day, Odie Day.
World Book Day is a little different though, it is an actual thing. It is mainly aimed at children; not because it is only for children, but because for most of us, this is where we get our love of books from. It is incredible to watch how excited children can get in a library and around books. Even better is how diverse the topics can be – anything can be in a book. The classics, Bambie, fairy tales, the educational books about Little Tiger picking up, Little Monkey calming down and the funny ones. Hairy MacLary is certainly a tongue twister for anyone who has to read it at storytime but children just love him and his hairy friends. Recently, I read a children’s book called Jacob’s new dress. Yes, we can get books for children about everything, and it is great. For World Book Day, children can get books for £1 as a project, schools celebrate by inviting everyone to dress as their favourite character (here are easy ideas should you need them).
But enough about the children; what do we have to celebrate? Well, books of course!
Today we are allowed to indulge in our love of books, splurge and buy more to add to our collection, re-read classics or just our favourites.
We can remember and be thankful for the Greats, those who have inspired us or maybe the classics that have touched us during our studies: Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Dickens, Flaubert, Melville, the Russians, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Gorky.
Some we only got to know through other means: Unless you are French, you won’t have read Victor Hugo, but you will have seen Les Miserables by now!
Stories can come to us one way or another, in the end, we are often drawn back to the original, the source, the book.
That’s why it is not surprising that books get newly edited with a fresh cover based on a film adaptation. Who has read Andrew Hodges book? Most of us won’t even recognise the name. Now, who has seen or heard of the story behind The Imitation Game? There we go. It is ok to not know every book ever written. In fact, it would be impossible. Sometimes we are lead to books through film, or art, or music.
Today, we can just enjoy what books give us: not just one world to escape to but endless worlds! We can look to find characters who share our experiences or flee into a parallel world, we can learn about lives we will never live or re-live our childhood, we can go on an emotional roller-coaster or just be entertained or solve a murder case.
So just for today, let’s allow ourselves to ride a sad train with Anna Karenina, attend the Capulet ball, stroll down Swann’s Way, skeak into the world of Madame Bovart, fight alongside Napoleon, get onto Platform 9 3/4, join Gulliver in Lilliput, be a guest at Jane Eyre’s wedding to Mr Rochester. The worlds are yours!
And let’s not forget to celebrate Book Lovers Day in August together!