Happy World Book Day

It’s that day again when we get to celebrate everything bookish. Except I guess most of us readers and writers spend everyday celebrating literature. It seems funny that we have a day each year that we put aside to promote books doesn’t it? Yet even though it feels a forced event, a time for children to dress up, it really does promote reading among children. I used to love to get the £1 vouchers for the special books that are published each year.

As we move further into a digital age where there seems to be less time than ever to actually read. Life is full of pressures on people, young and old, to be pulled one way or another. We need though to be putting books, good or bad, in front of the young. It doesn’t matter the quality but that they are reading. Time at secondary school especially, should be given to reading. It’s so important to have these pupils reading for pleasure, not dissecting some book to the nth degree. Nothing puts people off that trying to find hidden nuances in literature, when mainly the author just wanted them to enjoy the story.

There’s talk of book poverty in the world and it’s real. Austerity by this Tory government has meant libraries are closing all over the UK. Hours and budgets are slashed to the point where volunteers have to step in to keep the service going. That’s really good of them, but I was once told that its just a room of books without a proper qualified librarian to man it. It’s those librarians who can point a child in the right direction. They point people to the latest up coming trends, they can find a book for anyone, even those who think reading is a chore.

School libraries are under pressure as well, less money for books and a curriculum that no longer recognises that pupils need to come out of the process as a fully rounded person, not a robot taught the techniques to pass an exam. Some schools don’t even have a library, how can that be allowed to happen in the twenty-first century? Libraries are so important to the lives. They nurture, provide imagination in a world that desperately needs original thought.

I was lucky that my dad was a librarian. He always provided me with books and comics, either from the local library or from the shop. I was lucky that I was read stories at bedtime and got to go to sleep with dreams of Harry Potter and Narnia. He didn’t push me to read, but living in a house of books though made me pick up a few of them 😉 Most people haven’t had that sort of background. Those are the ones we need to target with World Book Day.

So Happy World Book Day to everyone in the world. Try to encourage reading in anyway you can, not just today but everyday. Lest fund our libraries properly and make the schools in places of learning again, instead of the exam factories that they have come. It’s also good for mental health as well, books helped me get through lots of things this past twelve months.

Every child deserves books.

Here are six of the best books that I have read this past year that will suit almost every taste.

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Shaun Nightshade

Writer, designer, blogger, dreamer

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