Today is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland. Do other countries take part? Perhaps it has an aspirational nomenclature. It is certainly an event that it would be good to see celebrated widely.
When my children were younger their school asked them to dress up as their favourite book character. Not being a skilled seamstress I would encourage my brood to choose a character who wore clothes resembling those they possessed. My son once went as Arthur Dent which he particularly enjoyed.
Schools often invite an author to visit and talk to their pupils. These days I am looking at these visits from the other side as my author friends mention the places they have been invited to attend in order to inspire the next generation of readers and writers. I hope that the children treat them kindly.
All under 18s are given a token which enables them to pick up a free book produced specially for the occasion. These contain an original story, often from a series which is popular with young readers. My children still have a number of these books in their collections.
I love the idea of World Book Day with its emphasis on encouraging all children to read. It is an inclusive event which aims to share the pleasure that books can bring.
Next month I will be joining in with another initiative which aims to share the literary love with adults. World Book Night gives away a range of books which have been specially selected for the occasion. Having been accepted as a volunteer I will be giving away Chickenfeed by Minette Walters at my local train station.
I derive so much pleasure from reading and am eager to encourage others to discover that joy. As has been said of children but is equally applicable to adults:
There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.