World Book Day is almost upon us and I love watching children on their way to school dressed as their favourite characters. I’m sure their parents have spent hours sorting out costumes to keep their little ones happy – what a great way to express their love of books. It’s a brilliant idea and a lovely way to promote reading.
Tomorrow will be World Book Day’s 19th year. I would have loved to have participated in this event but my children are in their twenties so we missed it. And obviously I’m way past it! But this year I’ve been thinking about where my love of books started and I can’t remember a time when I never read. My nickname as a child was ‘bookworm’ and my dad even built in a shelf above my bed for my favourite books.
Lovely Hubby enjoys reading, too and naturally we passed this love onto our children. We are a family of readers – usually our tastes are very different but sometimes we come together on a particular book. That’s what I like about reading: it’s a completely personal experience and is as individual as each individual.
So I wonder about this generation; they have so many electronic gadgets. Are they enticed by old fashioned physical books? Lovely Daughter and I own Kindles but we still prefer to hold a book in our hands. Do the children of today like to visit bookshops? Or do their parents order books online? I hope they choose bookshops – I still get a thrill from browsing the shelves and letting my instinct and curiosity guide me. The Kindle has its uses, especially for commuting and I’m not knocking it if that’s how someone prefers to read, but does a child get the same thrill from holding a book, feeling its weight and turning the pages? I know I’m old fashioned but to me it’s a joy I couldn’t bear to lose.
Most bookshops have a dedicated area for children, which is much more fun than the grown up sections. There may beanbags to chill out on, games and toys associated with the books, stickers, felt pens……it’s wonderful. And there are some bookshops completely dedicated to children. Most are called The Children’s Bookshop or something similarly bland. I like the ones that conjure the magic of reading and here are a few of my favourite names:
- The Owl and the Pussycat
- The Alligator's Mouth
- Chicken and Frog Bookshop
- Pickled Pepper Books
And my absolute favourites:
- Tales on Moon Lane
- The Yellow Book Road
Don’t they make you want to find out what’s inside? Surely you can't get the same excitement from ordering online. One of my fantasies is to open a bookshop and if it were for children, I would call it The Inky Imaginarium. I have all sorts of plans in my head: birthday parties, author events, story time, make your own book, huge beanbags and swinging chairs......not forgetting World Book Day events! Well, I can dream, can't I?
And if we had World Book Day in my time, I have no doubt about which character I would be: tomboy George from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. And although I won’t be dressing up tomorrow, I will be George in my imagination.
Are you dressing up in your imagination for World Book Day?