This is the day that I walk my son to school and pass an eclectic group of literary characters. A few common characters we see on our way to school are Where’s Wally, Harry Potter (or various other Hogwarts pupils), Matilda, a multitude of superheroes and the list goes on.
It turns out, this is the day to put on a costume if you are a young boy or girl of primary school age living in the UK; or a teacher of these children. Halloween appears to come a rather distant second to World Book Day.
And although I sometime wish the fun and excitement of dressing up for Halloween here in London was as big as back home, I am so on board with this day!
The World Book Day Ltd charity has the aim of “advancing the education of the public particularly by assisting in the promotion of reading amongst children, and particularly by promoting world book day…or any other such event the purpose of which is to promote and encourage reading among children and young people.”
Today I didn’t dress up, although I have started to give serious thought to what I might dress up as next year. What I am doing is sending my eldest to school with a copy of his current favourite book (Book 1 of the Magic Tree House series), as requested by his school and heading off to my nearest Oxfam Bookshop in Balham with my youngest son. Any excuse to do some charity shopping. We are going to take our time browsing the shelves and see what treasures can be found. We might even stop to read one or two books together in the shop.
I love a good second hand bookshop and even the not so good ones, if there is such a thing. I love stumbling upon old copies of books that can be hard to track down on the shelves of a high street bookseller. And picking them up while giving to charity is a big bonus.
A love of reading was passed down to me by my parents, particularly by my mum. To this day, she is one of the most voracious readers I have ever known. Not only does she try reading anything, and I mean anything, she has spent a good portion of her life in libraries and bookshops, especially the second hand variety. She has also spent the last two decades giving her time and energy to a charity that supports the local library in my hometown. I suppose I am hoping to continue to pass an enjoyment of reading on to my own boys.
Happy treasure hunting (for books) everyone!
Further details of the World Book Day Limited Charity can be found here.