Yesterday was Earth Day, (you can sing that to the tune of Rebecca Black's "Friday" if you feel so inclined), now today another exciting day of celebration is upon us: World Book and Copyright Day!
This lesser known day of celebration "promote[s] reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright" and is brought to you by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (or UNESCO).
Why April 23rd? Well, the website reveals that on this day in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died, and it is also the date of birth or death of many other prominent writers throughout history. Check out the website for even more interesting information about this special day.
In Canada, April 23rd has become "Canada Book Day," but unfortunately, it goes largely unnoticed and uncelebrated.
So today, I challenge you to celebrate Canada or World Book Day! Here's a short list of different ways you can do just that:
1. READ! Read at home. Read in public. Turn off your TV, and pick up a book!
2. Visit your local library. Aside from books, you never know what (or who) you might find there today. Your library might be hosting some really great events, and the best way to find out is to show up! Even if it's just another day in the stacks, it's a great excuse to get lost in the hundreds and thousands of stories hiding in there.
3. Donate books. Today is a great day to go through your bookshelf and old boxes of books from your childhood or university days and decide what you need/want to keep, and what you want to share with someone else. Public libraries are often accepting donations, but so are schools and school libraries. Maybe you want to share some novels and picture books with a local women's shelter. Your books want to be read, so give them a good home where people are itching to read them!
4. Dress up like your favourite book character. Will you don the lightning bolt scar in honour of Harry Potter? Maybe sport a plaid cloak and pipe to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes. Blow the dust off your most comfortable straight-jacket, Mr. Hannibal Lector. Get out your red and white striped top hat and whiskers to parade as the trouble-making Cat in the Hat. Whomever you admire, fear, or delight in most from your favourite stories, honour them today in the highest form of flattery: imitation!
5. Write a novel. It sounds like a lofty task, but I know many of us have secret or not-so-secret ambitions to write a novel, memoir, or storybook of some kind, and today is as good as any to start! So go for it! (Just don't forget to dedicate it to me for giving you the push to get going on it!)
How are you going to celebrate? Leave a comment below and let us know!