Happy World Book Day!
World Book Day occurs every March in the UK, and is an annual festival where people celebrate reading, books and their love of literature. Most primary schools across the UK will participate by getting children and teachers to dress up as their favourite characters and giving out tokens, which allow the children to buy one of the WBD listed books for £1.
This year, WBD is celebrating its 20th anniversary, so to celebrate with them I thought I’d discuss three (not twenty!) of my favourite things I’ve discovered about reading as I’ve grown up.
Often, while reading, my imagination just runs away with itself. I’ll find myself thinking up new scenarios for the characters or predicting plot twists and endgames. Sometimes I cognitively drop the characters from one book into the world of another (which is how Kell and Lila (from ADSOM) ended up at the Night Circus). But more than anything else, reading inspires me to write. Reading a brand new narrative inspires me to improve my own writing and try different styles, as well as giving me new ideas for stories and worlds.
Another special aspect of reading is the escapism that comes with picking up a book. Sometimes our world is boring, sad or worrying and it’s wonderful to be able to zone out of it and materialise in another. The semi-subconscious feeling of having left your room, library, cafe, or wherever you’re reading, and gently emerged in Hogwarts, Red London, or Camp Half-blood is sensational. Plus, to be able to exist in worlds where magic is real an society is completely different to our own is always an adventure.
Reading gives us access to perspectives we may never have come across before. As a white, straight woman, I have inherent privilege that comes with those labels and have therefore never experienced being from a marginalised community.
As a result, I will never be able to fully understand what it’s like to be someone who is marginalised because I haven’t lived their live. But by reading books from those perspectives, I can try to gain more understanding and educate myself in how to help promote their voices, ideas and perspectives, as well as standing with them in their fight for equality.
So those are just three things I love about reading. What are some of your favourite things? I’d love to hear them, and do let me know if you’ve been participating in WBD today!