So, I’m not exactly sure when it started but, in my house, World Book Day is the biggest day of the year.
Yes, bigger than Christmas and birthdays.
And this year, in spite of the whole social-distancing-quarantine-lock-down thing, this year’s World Book Day was no different.
In fact, it was amazing.
So, let’s answer your first question:
What Is World Book Day?
World Book Day (also known as World Book And Copyright Day) is UNESCO’s international day of commemoration and recognition of books, publishing, and copyright.
It’s celebrated internationally on April 23rd (except in the UK where it is a charitable organization and possibly an even bigger day celebrated earlier in the year).
Okay, Aaron, But What Is World Book Day To You?
Well, my wife and I love books. A lot.
… We read voraciously.
… We buy books like addicts.
… We’re on a first-name basis with librarians.
… We’ve taken vacations that were specifically about books and reading
… I write like I have hypergraphia.
So somewhere in the past we saw that there was a World Book Day and we thought we’d have fun by just going to the library on that day (as if we needed an excuse).
But over time, it grew to become much more.
And, for the past several years, it looked like this: I’d wrap up some client work in the morning then we’d go out for lunch, then to the library for the afternoon, then out to dinner, then to Chapters in the evening. Sometimes friends would join us for part of that experience.
It just became a day we looked forward to… and slowly started to eclipse other days that are traditionally nostalgic/important to most people, like birthdays and Christmas. We like books; we like the quirkiness of it.
Then the world shut down in 2020 and we had to change course…
World Book Day 2020
In the past, most World Book Days for us have been about going out — for meals, to the library, and to a bookstore. Of course that can’t happen in 2020 but that didn’t stop us from celebrating and, in some ways, it made it even more fun to do something different.
Leading up to World Book Day, I posted all week on Facebook about my favorite books, and Janelle recorded videos about them on her YouTube channel, Too Fond Of Books.
In case you’re curious: my top ten favorite fiction books, at the moment, are:
- Moby Dick – Herman Melville
- Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
- The Terror – Dan Simmons
- Lord Of The Flies – William Golding
- 1984 – George Orwell
- The Martian – Andy Weir
- The Stand- Stephen King
- Lord Of The Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
- Dogs Of War – Frederick Forsyth
- World War Z – Max Brooks
And my top ten favorite non-fiction/business books are:
- Dotcom Secrets – Russell Brunson
- Influence – Robert Cialdini
- Getting Things Done – David Allen
- Making It Work – David Allen
- The 4-Hour Chef – Tim Ferriss
- The One Thing – Gary Keller
- The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
- The Ultimate Marketing Plan – Dan Kennedy
- Traction – Gino Wickman
- Thinking Fast And Slow – Daniel Kahneman
(It’s interesting to see how this list has changed since I posted a similar list of my top ten favorite business books in 2013.)
Then, on World Book Day itself, here’s what I did:
In the morning, I wrapped up some client work.
For lunch, we had a barbecue with my parents.
Then I finished a book (a novel about Hadrian’s Wall that I’d started months ago and hadn’t picked up for a while). I didn’t love the book but it had its moments.
Then I had a nap. haha! (Not book-related but still 100% necessary.)
Then I shopped for books (online) and bought four or five of them.
Then I spent some time going through a library tour on a site that a friend shared with me. (There are 6 virtual library tours here; I’ve been to 2 of these libraries in person — the one in Canada and the one in the UK).
I also recorded videos about my top 3 favorite works of fiction, and shared them on Facebook. Check out this video on Moby Dick and this video on Fifth Business and The Terror.
Also throughout the day…
- I browsed through some of the books on my bookshelves
- I thought about a book that I wanted to write and made some notes
- I did a bit of book management in LibraryThing.com (where we manage our personal library)
- I flipped through a few books that are sitting in a box waiting for our Little Free Library to be built
- I looked at some of my past financial fiction reviews and picked a book to review next
- And I checked out some videos YouTube and pictures on Instagram about Moby Dick
And then I finished off the day by reading a book called The Escape Room, about a group of investment bankers who are trapped in an elevator. The book was pretty good; not sure I’d read it again but I enjoyed it.
I love World Book Day! It’s a little quirky and different to celebrate it with as much fervor as we do at our house but it’s become a thing we do and we look forward to it for years.
And this year, because of how different the world is at the moment, I was forced to celebrate it differently. It was much more social this time around and I built up more anticipation on Facebook, and then shared thoughts on books throughout the day there as well… so those things helped to make it even more enjoyable than ever.