* when you can’t get away with wearing a Pippi Longstocking costume to work
Happy World Book Day! In its 19th year, this “festival of the imagination” revels in reading, plus encourages children to dress up as their favourite literary character and immerse themselves in the pleasure of books.
Embracing the fact that fiction has a great impact on all our lives, throughout our lives, is a wonderful idea. I don’t think I would be a writer if I didn’t love reading so much – and the more I write, the more I want to read. Literature teaches us, influences us and prompts us to be better people, to work harder and to appreciate the value of our everyday existence.
I believe that such a special day should be (book) marked by everyone: the young and the old, the daring and the timid, the tutti frutti topped with chocolate chips and the vanilla.
For all my fellow book lovers, here are 3 fabulous ways to commemorate a day dedicated to books:
Read something you would never normally pick out from the shelf, or re-read your favourite childhood story
Discovering a new author, or remembering the reasons why you love a particular author’s work, is great for the mind and the soul. Maybe you will learn new things, find a genre you really like, or simply enjoy the fact that you’re doing something a bit different with your Thursday evening.
You could even take this a step further and have a ‘blind date with a book’ like this bookshop concept. Book covers are wrapped in brown paper and the cover art, title and ratings replaced with a list of key words to describe the novel; the aim is to encourage readers to judge a book based on its contents, rather than its cover. It’s like a literary guessing game for adults.
Visit your local bookshop
It’s very easy to order a book, or an e-book, online at the touch of a button; so much so that the beauty of the bookshop is often reserved for our memory boxes or a special occasion.
Yet, whether it’s the woody smell of paperbacks or the joy of unearthing a hidden gem, a good bookshop will always be a truly magical experience. Remember that scene in Beauty and the Beast when Belle visits the bookshop? That could be you – and perhaps one of the biggest days in the literary calendar is the perfect excuse to relive the unique appeal of browsing rows and rows of books in a real-life store.
Plan a trip to a place that inspired some of the greatest authors
Beatrix Potter and the Lake District, A.A. Milne and East Sussex, J.M. Barrie and Neverland – the list goes on. These areas of abundant splendour, tranquillity and vision worked wonders for the literary greats, so imagine what they could do for you.
With a little research, it might even turn out that some of these places aren’t so far from your very doorstep. For instance, I discovered today that Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired by Bristol’s Floating Harbourside when writing Treasure Island – and also that there is a ‘Treasure Island Trial’ walking tour to celebrate the city’s connection to this classic.
How ever you choose to celebrate today, I hope you all enjoy honouring the power of books in style.