Two important holidays are just around the corner for booklovers: National Read a Book Day and International Literacy Day.
Both books play an important (and fun) role in society. Because of these holidays, people are reminded to take the time to read a book, which is something not many people seem to have the time for or aren’t willing to make the time for.
These holidays are also a great reminder as to why books, and reading in general, are important to society.
Read on to find out how these holidays got their start, why they’re still necessary, and ways book lovers can celebrate in 2019.
International Literacy Day and #ReadABookDay: Why They’re Important
National Read a Book Day is on September 6, while International Literacy Day is on September 8. September 8 has been International Literacy Day since 1966 when it was declared such at that year’s UNESCO’s General Conference.
The purpose of these two holidays is to shine a light on the importance of literacy.
Literacy gives people dignity and should be viewed as a basic human right since being able to read contributes to a healthier, sustainable society.
Unfortunately, even in the U.S. literacy is still a challenge. In fact, some have said that the U.S. is currently in the midst of a literacy crisis. Such a thing is difficult to believe since reading is such an important part of the scholastic curriculum.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most up-to-date statistics regarding literacy come from a study done in 2014 by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PICCA).
The PICCA study revealed that, while the U.S. has some of the highest reading competencies in the world, it also ranks amongst the lowest. A large percentage of people ranging in age from 16 to 65 years performed at the top of the reading spectrum. However, 18% of adults performed at the lowest level of the spectrum, a rate that’s 2% higher than the international average.
Literacy is still a huge issue in this country. It’s not just about making sure children are taught how to read. Special holidays like International Literacy Day show that adults need assistance as well.
How Books Have Helped Shape the World (and How They’re Still Doing So Today)
It’s not just the ability to read that’s important – it’s the books themselves.
Books have the power to heal and educate, something that’s necessary for people to live rich, healthy, meaningful lives and to make a difference in society.
In fact, many books have come along that not only make for a nice read but have had such an important message that they leave a lasting impact on society as a whole.
The right story can change the world. Here are just a few that have had a long-lasting impact on the world. (By the way, these books would be a great option for International Literacy Day!)
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- War and Peace
- The Kite Runner
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- The Jungle
- The Alchemist
- Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
- Silent Spring
- Don Quixote
- Pride and Prejudice
- A Christmas Carol
- Madame Bovary
- Animal Farm
- The Fellowship of the Ring.
Want even more classic novels to consider? Visit our previous post that dishes out the Top 50 Books Everyone Must Read.
5 Reasons Why Readers Should Celebrate These Fun, Bookish Holidays
Some might leave these kinds of holidays to all the book lovers of the world. Really, though, International Literacy Day and #ReadABookDay are ideal holidays for everyone. Here’s why.
1. It Exposes the Need for Improved Literacy
Illiteracy is still (shockingly) an issue in the U.S. It’s not something that can be relegated to the past. It’s vital for everyone to be aware of just how big an issue this is.
Holidays such as these showcase issues people might not be aware of, which can motivate them to take action.
A great way to celebrate these holidays is to read a book with children, encouraging them to develop a love of reading and an appreciation for great books.
2. It’s the Perfect Excuse to Curl Up with a Good Book
How many people out there are avid readers who just don’t have the time to pick up a book as often as they used to? There are so many in that category.
International Literacy Day gives them an excuse to set aside at least a little bit of time (Or, who knows? They might set aside the whole day!) to do something they really love.
3. It’s a Fun Way to Spend Time with Friends and Family
In the past, friends and family members spent time together playing games, singing songs, and reading. It was a simpler time back then, but that doesn’t mean families can’t enjoy those activities occasionally, even in this super busy period of time.
A fun way to celebrate International Literacy Day would be to gather together, hook up a phone or tablet to a speaker, and sit around listening to a fascinating audiobook.
Families can imagine they’re living back in a time before television, smartphones, and online gaming. Lots of authors hire not just one voice actor, but multiple actors, to play the characters in their book. Listening to an ensemble cast performance is a real treat.
How Should Booklovers Celebrate This Holiday? With an Audiobook, of Course
For anyone who has been on the fence about audiobooks, International Literacy Day and #ReadABookDay are the perfect opportunities to give them a try.
Audiobooks give people the opportunity to consume the best books being published today. There’s something for everyone, including educational, non-fiction books, as well as modern fiction and classics.
Fall is the ideal time to cozy up with a great book, but even people who don’t have the time to do that can enjoy their favorite books with an audiobook subscription. They can listen to books while working out, cooking, doing chores around the house, and during their daily commute.
Booklovers no longer have to worry about finding the time to read. They just need to slip on some headphones, press play, and get back to their favorite pastime.
Not sure which audiobook to read on International Literacy Day? Check out our bestsellers list to see what other readers are currently enjoying.