This coming Thursday is World Book Day. If you haven’t heard, this is a registered charity whose mission is to give every young person a book. It’s also a way to honor authors, illustrators, and books. Above all, World Book Day is a huge celebration of reading that is now entering its 22nd year. UNESCO has declared it a worldwide celebration and over 100 countries participate. Along with resources packs and activities available to all, registered schools in Ireland and the UK are sent book tokens, which students can redeem at booksellers for a free selected title or for savings on other titles.
All authors long to reach a respectable number of readers (whatever that number may be). The success of the books with the largest impact in the world show just how profound the many types of change are that books can bring. Raising student interest in reading can help lead to a life-long love of reading, so it’s important to note that books can have an impact at any age.
World Book Day
Storytellers have an amazing power to impact society with their writing. Books allow some an escape from their everyday lives and convey worlds sometimes drastically different than the one we’re in now. Some books give homebound mothers a glimpse into different parts of the world while others give children role models who otherwise wouldn’t exist in their lives.
Books with the Largest Impact in the World
In some cases, the stories we create can make more long-lasting impacts. For example, Catch-22 introduced a new approach to satire and introduced new themes and idioms to the world. The Feminine Mystique influenced the second wave of feminism and even influenced new legislation like the Equal Pay Act of 1963. To get an idea of just what kind of books make this impact, take a look at this list of books with the largest impact below from Largest.org to see what influence classic books and novels imparted on the world. They picked out a few influential books from several decades and called out the type of change they made in the world. Look through their list and see if your favorite stacks up and how you can make a change.
As seen on Largest.org:
Ways You Can Honor World Book Day
If you’re a teacher, librarian, administrator, or involved in the education of children in any number of ways, pay a visit to the World Book Day website for ideas and resources. If you’re an author, you could also consider donating copies of your own book or others to various schools in your area or collaborating with a teacher you know on a book talk for students. Beyond that, it doesn’t take long to get on Amazon and send a young person in your life a book. The book you gift might be something popular or perhaps a book that has had a lasting impact on you. You could also offer to pay for a young person’s book at a local bookstore, or even buy a book and affix a note to it to be found later by a random reader.
Other Bookish Celebrations
Many other bookish celebrations abound, such as National Poetry Month and Banned Books week. Doctor Seuss’s birthday usually gets plenty of notoriety as well. Beyond that, other noted large-scale celebrations include World Book Night, Short Story Month, and International Literacy Day. Countless other book-related take place on various scales the world over. Why not make a point to commit to one or more over the course of the coming year? Spread your love of reading!
Have you ever celebrated World Book Day? If not, start now! What books have most impacted you and why?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2019.