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World Book Day 2nd March 2017

World Book Day – three little words that mean so much, and one day in the year when we officially celebrate the magic and beauty of books. And what a celebration World Book Day truly is.

Busy lives can often mean that the simple pleasures in life are relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. We have to go to work, do the shopping, clean the house, sort the ironing, pick up the kids, and do the million favours we’ve promised everyone else; and that means that finding time for ourselves tends to be completely forgotten.

reading book coffee man

Reading is, perhaps, the simplest of all simple pleasures. With just a book (or an eReader in today’s world) and your imagination, you can go on the wildest of adventures, you can meet the most fascinating of people, you can witness planets burning and worlds being created. You can fall in love, you can despise deeply, you can fight and live and dream and you can do it all from a comfortable chair, a bed, a park bench…

And all of this magic and mayhem that comes from the unique and really rather extraordinary act of reading (it is, after all, just letters arranged in order on a page – the rest is all in your mind) is all too easy to set to one side when there are other things to do.

Luckily, World Book Day changes all that. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is celebrated in over 100 countries across the world each year. 2017 sees its 20th anniversary, and will be held on 2nd March.

So what exactly is the aim of World Book Day? In the UK and Ireland, it is all about showing children the pleasure and excitement that comes from finding a great book. The day is full of activities which encourage children to read, and each school that registers is provided with packs of book tokens (around 15 million such tokens will be sent out in time for this year’s celebration) and World Book Day resource packs which are jam-packed full of fantastic book-based ideas and activities. The book tokens can be used to purchase one of ten specially selected books, or they can be put towards any other book that the child wants to buy. And really, if a child is happy to buy books, encouraging them has to be the best policy.

book chair dark

And then there is the dressing up, of course! Many schools allow their pupils to dress up as their favourite character from a book (not the film of the book, mind you – these need to be truly literary to fit in properly with the theme) for the day. They might even be asked to bring in a copy of the book that inspired them to show their friends.

Although World Book Day is meant to children the joy of reading, it’s a great excuse to finally carve some time out for yourself – so grab a new book, find a quiet spot and enjoy!

For more information on World Book Day, visit www.worldbookday.com

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