Do you share our love of books? There are plenty of holidays all year long that celebrate books, authors and readers. Whether your an avid reader, literacy advocate, or someone looking for an excuse to pull out the cake and balloons, here is a list of literary themed holidays worthy of celebration!
18: Winnie the Pooh Day
A holiday sure to bring back fond memories of childhood, Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated on birthday of author A A Milne. Every year, people gather together to honor the beloved series with pooh bears’ picnics, honey filled snacks, and Tigger tea parties.
1-7: Children’s Authors and Illustrator Week
This holiday was created to promote literacy and a love of reading at an early age. Children’s authors and illustrators gather all over for workshops and speaking events to get children excited about reading and writing.
14: Library Lovers Day
It maybe Valentine’s Day for some, but for library lovers it is a day to come together for fun events and activities to celebrate the gift of free public access to literature and the wonderful people that make it possible.
Library Lovers Month
An extension of Library Lovers Day, all month long special celebrations are planned at public, private, and school libraries to showcase the importance of libraries and all they have to offer.
2: Read Across America
The National Education Association kicks off the year long “Read Across America” program on March 2, birthday of the adored Dr. Seuss, to encourage communities to gather their children together to celebrate reading. The NEA provides 365 days of reading resources available to parents, teachers, and children.
5: World Book Day
It is an annual worldwide celebration of authors, illustrators, and books intended to promote child literacy through the wide distribution of “book tokens” to pre-registered nurseries and secondary schools. The book tokens are dispersed to children who in turn can take their token to a local bookstore to receive a new and free book.
2-8: Read an Ebook Week
Read an Ebook Week is supported by various artists, publishers, formatters, manufacturers, distributors and retail outlets to promote interest in and distribution of ebooks worldwide. Readers are encouraged to read electronically and download free and discounted ebooks during this week.
2: Children’s Book Day
In celebration of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, author of The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling, Children’s Book Day has events worldwide with writing competitions and speaking engagements with famous authors and illustrators. This a chance to get to find out about the great works of some unknown children’s authors, as well.
16: National Bookmobile Day
Bookmobiles have been instrumental in getting books to people who would otherwise have no way of receiving them. National Bookmobile Day is an opportunity for fans of bookmobiles to show their appreciation—through thanking bookmobile staff, writing a letter or e-mail to their libraries, or voicing their support to community leaders.
16: Celebrate Teen Literature Day
Started in 2007, this holiday sets out to show that young adult literature is a “vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens.” It also showcases award-winning authors and books in the genre, and highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.
23: World Book and Copyright Day
World Book and Copyright Day is an annual event held on April 23, hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to promote reading, publishing and copyright. The hope is that people will gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have further the social and cultural progress of humanity through books.
27: Tell a Story Day
Stories do not always come in book form. They can be movies, tall-tales, or an old fork lore. Maybe you have a family story that has been passed down generation to generation. Take today to tell that story to your kids! Embrace words in all story forms.
28: Great Poetry Reading Day
Most of us have had the not-so-great pleasure of coming across really bad poetry, but today is the day to embrace those really moving verses that inspire us. Celebrate by having your own poetry reading party, listening to a reading at a local coffee shop, or maybe try writing your own!
5-11: Library Week
National Library Week encourages communities to share how their local libraries and librarians have affected them. Each year is themed with a honorary chairmen. For 2014, the theme was “Lives Change @ Your Library” and the honorary chair was Judy Blume.
D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read. It kicks off on April 12, birthday of beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary. Many literary organizations and publishing companies encourage and remind parents to treat reading as a family affair. Although you don’t need an official holiday, use D.E.A.R. as a motivation to get your kids together and enjoy some great books!
11-17: Reading is Fun
This week seeks to show that reading is not meant to be a chore or tedious task. People of all ages are encouraged to find something that grabs their attention and they can’t put down. It does not matter if it is a biography, mystery thriller, or that young adult novel your teen has been begging you to read. Find what interests you and embrace it. You won’t be sorry!
27: National Columnists Day
Created by The National Society of Newspaper Columnists, it was established on April 18th, in memory of the day columnist, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Ernie Pyle, killed in World War II. Whether it be the quirky “how-to” lady or the environmental contributor, read your favorite column and then give the writers feedback. They like to know you are interested in their work!
Audiobook Appreciation Month
June is all about generating excitement and enthusiasm for audiobooks. An underrated commodity, audiobooks are great for car rides, long trips, and those days when the reading glasses just don’t cut it. June is the time for beach trips and travel adventures, so don’t forget to bring along your favorite audiobook!
30: Paperback Book Day
You just can’t get that old book smell from a kindle or tablet. There is just something nostalgic about an old paperback. Plus, when comparing to a hardback cover, you are always going to get a better deal. Take this day to pick up a newly released paperback or maybe one of the classics. Either way, you know you’ll enjoy!
Read an Almanac Month
For those of you unfamiliar with this item, an almanac is an “annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, farmers’ planting dates, tide tables, and tabular information.” These underrated and sometimes forgotten gems can be extremely useful and interesting. So head to your local library or bookstore an see what you’re missing!
9: Book Lovers Day
If you are reading this post, chances are you will want in on this holiday. Celebrated worldwide, this is a chance to pull out your tattered old favorite, a shiny new release, or share your recommendations for others to enjoy. However you want to celebrate, embrace your book love and share it with the world!
6: Read a Book Day
Although the origin is unknown, we can all quietly thank the anonymous creator of a holiday that gives us an excuse to put down the paperwork, turn off the computer, and cozy up to a good book. After all, we wouldn’t want to deny a calendar marked holiday, right?
8: International Literacy Day
Founded by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this is worldwide holiday to promote literacy efforts. Its goal is to show that literacy is the right of all humans and the base of all learning. Through speaking events all over the world, people are educated on the importance of literacy and the progress being made in these efforts. May it also be a day to remind us of the blessing of literacy still denied to so many.
22: Dear Diary Day
Although the origins of this holiday are unknown, its message is universal. Take time out of your busy day to put all those thoughts onto paper and experience a relief similar to a spa day. Journaling has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and lighten moods. Plus, who knows, you may find inspiration in what you thought was gibberish or discover a hidden love of writing!
Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month
We all know the books we love would be impossible without the talented writers that pen them, but just as much, the editors that help mold and shape writer’s work into the paperback beauties readers enjoy. September is a time to express your gratitude for all they do. Post a nice comment on the website of your favorite author, shoot an email to the editor of your favorite book, or better yet, mail a hand-written card.
16: Dictionary Day
Dedicated to Noah Webster, “Father of the American Dictionary,” this is a holiday encouraging you to expand your vocabulary. We’re not necessarily suggesting you read Webster cover to cover, but take a day, learn some new words, and expand your horizon.
12-18: Teen Read Week
Developed by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and begun in 1998, communities are encouraged to use the “Turn Your Dreams into a Reality” theme to shine a light on all the great resources and activities provided to inspire teens to succeed in school and beyond.
National Book Month
An entire month dedicated to the pleasure of reading and enjoyment of books. Once sponsored by the National Book Federation, it is now a nationally celebrated holiday encouraging book lovers and avid readers to celebrate how they see fit. So find out what your local schools, libraries, and literary organizations are doing to celebrate and get involved!
1: Author’s Day
Every avid reader has a favorite author whose books never disappoint and leave you wanting more. This is a day to honor those incredibly talented people. Authors speak at different events and readers get a chance to show their appreciation!
1: National Family Literacy Day
This holiday is all about encouraging families to read together, and parents to actively engage in learning activities with their children. It is kicked off on November 1st, but events are held all month long. Take this opportunity as an excuse to spend the afternoon with your kids at your local library or bookstore. It might surprise you what you can learn from them and their favorite books!
6: National Non-Fiction Day
An annual celebration of children’s non-fiction, it was initiated by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups in partnership with Scholastic Children’s Books and is celebrated across the UK each year. People of all literary interests gather to highlight the best information and narrative non-fiction books for children. Every year there is a different theme to the day.
15: I Love to Write Day
Founded in 2002 by author John Riddle, I Love to Write Day is now celebrated in over 30,000 schools all across the United States. Writing events and activities are held at schools, libraries, and bookstores. People are encouraged to find events at local communities to gather together and discuss their love of writing. Get your pen and paper ready!
Picture Book Month
Founded by authors, story tellers, and illustrators, Picture Book Month aims to bring awareness to the importance of picture books during the developmental stages of children. During the month of November, there are new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important posted on the Picture Book website.
National Family Literacy Month
Started in 1994, the annual event is held to encourage and stress the importance of family literacy. It is officially celebrated on November 1st, but events continue throughout the month of November. Many literacy organizations, including schools and libraries, participate through book drives, read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, etc.
National Novel Writing Month
Affectionately known as “NaNoWriMo,” this is a challenge for established writers and newbies alike (really anyone can participate) to attempt to write an entire novel in one month. The word count goal for adult is 50,000 and age 17 and under can have a lesser, yet reasonable goal. In 2012, over 300,000 adults and 80,000 young writers participated. It is a fun, creative, and challenging exercise that people really enjoy participating in.
Read a New Book Month
With it being the busy Christmas season, this holiday was began to encourage everyone to stop, take a minute, and delve into a great new book. Who knows, maybe by participating in this holiday, you’ll knockout another gift on your list with a great book!