World Book Day 2019
Books read us back to ourselves and connect us to others.
Books can make us feel less alone. Words, stories and powerful images have the power to change our mood, to open our minds and connect us to others.
It’s World Book Day 2019 – a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. All over the globe small humans wear costumes to bring their favourite characters to life and fundraise for the charity whose mission is to give every child and young person a book of their own. What does this matter? Because reading is an adventure, says writer Jeanette Winterson:
Adventures are about the unknown. When I started to read seriously I was excited and comforted all at the same time. Literature is a mix of unfamiliarity and recognition. The situation can take us anywhere – across time and space, the globe, through the lives of people who can never be like us – into the heart of anguish we have never felt – crimes we could not commit.
Yet as we travel deeper into the strange world of the story, the feeling we get is of being understood – which is odd when you think about it, because at school learning is based on whether or not we understand what we are reading. In fact it is the story (or the poem) that is understanding us.
Books read us back to ourselves.
The final line of the author’s introduction to her novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit sent a shiver down my spine. I just read it recently and when returning it to my local library I spotted these colourful delights on a ‘blind date with a book!’ post-Valentine’s Day display. I love the idea of how much care went into picking each one, the wrapping and the enticement. Bookshops and libraries are my happy place when life gets on top of me. These colours make me smile, too.
This is the 22nd year of World Book Day and how truly awesome is this fact: World Book Day is ‘the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
Here’s to creativity, stories and discovery!