Tuesday, 23 April 2013

World Book Night- Why You Should Read!

Tonight, the 23rd of April, is World Book Night. World Book Night is an event to celebrate reading and books which takes place every year on this date. The 23rd of April is a significant date in literature as it is both the date of Shakespeare's birth and death. 397 years since his death, this year world book night is being celebrated in the UK, Ireland and the USA. At the heart of the event is giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t read regularly. But it is also so much more: it is a chance for communities to get together to share stories and the love of books. Each year 20,000 book lovers are recruited to spread the written word amongst their communities and this year that figure includes myself and Mum. 

Twenty titles are up for grabs including "Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman and "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness. Tonight we will be giving out "The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency" a great read by Alexander McCall Smith. With twenty copies in a brown paper package (how wonderful) we will be heading to several local venues to give out the books to members of our community. 

What people often forget is how lucky we are for physically being able to pick up a book and have the potential to understand it. Figures in this spreadsheet show that in some countries people aren't as fortunate. For example in Afghanistan only 28% of people are literate. 'Literate' is defined as the ability to read and write. This basic skill that many overlook, or even choose not to use, could be detrimental in changing a country such as Afghanistan. 

Here are ten reasons why you should pick up a book today (no excuses):

  1. You do have time. Why waste another minute on Facebook scrolling up and down and waiting for something to happen when you can watch a full play unfold in your head? 
  2. No annoying casting errors. In your head your word is law. Take that film industry!
  3. Escapism. You can go to a foreign country, sail magical seas and even befriend mythical creatures. Disappear down Alice's rabbit hole into a book and let your imagination run wild. 
  4. Knowledge. People who read are wordy. When was the last time you dropped a word like tintinnabulation in a conversation? If you have a brain box of a protagonist this could indeed be you. 
  5. It's portable. Surely waiting half an hour for a film or latest TV series to download to your phone or tablet just so you can go out is a bit extreme? Pop a book in your bag and off you go. 
  6. Social. After a certain point in a friendship books are going to come up in conversation- it's inevitable. Though you may ignore the Biblio blighters they are there and other people enjoy them. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to discuss, or openly debate, about a plot line in your favourite book? 
  7. It can be free. Don't be a shelf snob- head to the library and pick some books you will enjoy. There are even people in there who will help you find a book you might like if you don't know yourself. Also, you could come to one of the many World Book Night events around the country! 
  8. Improves empathy. Though you may have very little to say about your best friend's extreme blisters and struggle to emphasise as she struggles to her seat, you might read a book with a character in the same scenario and gain a whole new perspective. Put yourself in those imaginary shoes and get your friend some plasters!
  9. The perfect way to spend a rainy day. Who's going to tell you to do something 'more important' than reading? You are brainy, and feeding those brain cells with information. Who could object?
  10. Because you have the ability to read this list. May that be with your eyes, fingers, or ears you are understanding what I'm saying. Reading isn't just for your eyes- get an audiobook or another alternative format if you prefer. One in eight people in the UK cannot read standard print and only a small number of the 130,000 books published each year only a small figure are made into accessible formats. Go to Right to Read to find out more. 
Happy World Book Night! What's your favourite book?

1 comment:

  1. I have too many favourites to pick just one. But I always come back to Jane Eyre when I want a good read :)