Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

World Book Day

Books at the JB Priestley Library, Bradford.

Today is World Book Day… in Britain. The rest of the world celebrates it on April 23rd, which happens to be William Shakespeare’s birthday. Unfortunately, that date often falls during the Easter holidays, and clashes with St Georges Day in England. So, Britain celebrates World Book Day on the second Thursday of March.

(As an aside, America celebrates World Standards Day on a different day to everyone else. Just in case you were thinking that this was a uniquely British thing)

As part of World Book Day, every child in full-time education is given a book voucher. It’s worth £1, and bookshops offer special books for £1 that can be exchanged for the voucher. Alternatively, it can be redeemed against the value of any other book costing £2.99 or more. Lizzie, being only 1, is too young for this, but I’m guessing she’ll be eligible in 2021. As well as encouraging kids to read, it also helps to support high street bookshops.

The other big thing that happens on World Book Day is that children dress up as their favourite book characters to go to school. If you’re friends with Brits with school-age children on social media, expect to see lots of photos of young Harry Potters, Gruffalos and Tracey Beakers today.

As you will know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I’m not much of a reader of books. I have been enjoying audiobooks of late, and indeed, the two most recent books that I’ve listened to have been fiction. This has been a big change for me as I hadn’t read or listened to any fiction books for years. I’m almost at the end of the second book, so I’ll write about it when I’ve finished it.

We’re trying to read books to Lizzie, provided that she’ll sit still long enough to listen. Whilst I lost interest in books some time ago, Christine still reads from time to time and has a large library of fiction books. Although a lot of these are still boxed up from when we moved out of our flat, some 18 months ago, but we’ll get around to unpacking them some day. And I hope Lizzie takes after her mother and learns to enjoy reading.

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