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10 Ways To Celebrate How Much Books Mean To You
It’s National Book Lovers Day
It’s National Book Lovers Day
* This article originally appeared on Medium.com
Were you the kid at the library who found books so enthralling you often flopped right down in the middle of the aisle to read? Maybe cuddled between the stacks with your prize, completely satisfied with being lost in the story?
Did you live for the trips to the bookstore? Perhaps those really special ones while visiting grandma. You perused the shelves. You breathed in the intoxicating scent of paper and print. You debated for what seemed like hours trying to pick one to take home (as well as a tentative second choice, in case your argument for grandma letting you have two instead of one was a success).
Well, fellow book lover, I’m happy to tell you that today, August 9th, is for us. It’s National Book Lovers Day! It’s a day that started nobody-knows-when by a person nobody-can-pinpoint exactly, but thank goodness someone did. It’s a whole day to bask in the glorious way books make us feel!
How can you celebrate your love for these bound bits of pulp sprinkled with words and pictures and sometimes a pinch of Dickens dust? Below are 10 ideas to get you started.
1. Reread something you once loved.
But this one has a caveat: You may not be happy after you’ve read it. Some books I treasured in my back-then days make me cringe now. I’ve changed. Times have definitely changed. Those books, though, have not. If you decide to reread a past favorite, pick wisely. Avoid heartbreak if you can.
2. Take a moment to admire your beautiful, oh-so-lovely bookshelves filled to the ceiling with books.
Go wild and reorganize them by color, or author, or genre. Spend the entire day rolling in piles of Shakespeare and Christie and self-help guides. You can put it all back together again tomorrow.
3. Create the cozy little reading nook you’ve always wanted.
It will look fabulous next to your newly reorganized shelves!
4. Write a book.
We’ve all got a story, yes? Start telling yours today.
5. Donate a book or two you no longer need.
Tons of places accept used books. Churches, shelters, libraries, even your local pediatrician’s office might. Ask around. Is there a Little Free Library near you? See if its librarian needs books for their box. And hey, while you’re at it, stick a nice note or token somewhere in the book? Something sweet that might make someone’s day a little brighter when it’s found.
6. Call up some friends and get a good old-fashioned book club going.
It can be virtual; no need to be that old-fashioned. BYO beverage or snack of choice, hop on to Zoom, and get gabbing about books! It doesn’t even have to be the same book. Everybody can pull something off of their shelf and make a presentation. Like those book reports we had to make in front of the class in elementary school, but with booze and chocolate instead of anxiety and awkward pauses.
7. Share the love — read a book to your kids.
Or to your neighbors’ kids. Or even to random kids you’ve never met via Youtube, Instagram, or whatever social platform you prefer. Spread the joy that reading offers. Generations of readers fondly remember Reading Rainbow and its storyteller, LeVar Burton, for a reason.
8. Speaking of social media, what about a book challenge?
Do you have a following? Even a few people? Then why don’t you start a book challenge! You can make the rules up, or use the guidelines set by one of the many options available online. Hand out virtual Book Bingo cards to everyone and offer prizes for the first three “Bingos!”. Give participants 30 days to find and read 20 books published in 1923 by someone named Josh. Dare them to read 10 books backward, beginning with the last chapter and working up to the first. The possibilities are endless.
9. Or challenge yourself, like the book aficionado you are.
Can you read one whole book before the end of the day? What about two? Ok, what about three? End the day exhausted and awestruck in your reading prowess.
10. Read something new.
Planning to (safely) venture out today? Why not swing by your local bookstore (bonus points if it’s an indie) and pick up a new book to mark the day? Choose a novel you’ve never read, an author you’ve always wanted to try, or even a genre you’ve never thought much about. Have fun with it! I recommend The Broken Girls by Simone St James (one of my most favorite books ever); anything by Ray Bradbury or Shirley Jackson; and the Reference section.
Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about reading, said in On Writing that “books are a uniquely portable magic”. I picture him spending today with a well-worn book in his pocket. It’s a favorite one he pulls out and uses as a ticket to escape the lines and waiting rooms and general boredom in life. Myself, I plan on reading something new and outside of my normal mystery genre. Perhaps some science fiction from Fredric Brown.
How will you mark this magical day?