The Magic of Reading: Why World Book Day Matters

Open book with magical snowflakes on a light blue background.

We think it's fabulous to have an entire day dedicated to books. Here at Once Upon a Book Club, we are passionate about books and think of it as our mission to bring the pages to life.

Books are wonderful no matter how old you are. Between those pages is a world of entertainment, knowledge, and inspiration. We can't imagine life without books; they give us an opportunity to escape, de-stress, learn new skills, discover new perspectives and experiences - well, the list just goes on and on.

Many of us can get caught up with the allure of technology, but the simple act of sitting down with a book is one of life's simple pleasures that you can enjoy anywhere!

So, on this wonderful day, let's take time to celebrate the wonderful world of books and all they have to offer.

What Is World Book Day?

Thanks to UNESCO, World Book Day came into being in 1995. This special day is a global celebration of books aimed at promoting reading for pleasure and ensuring that everyone has access to books, no matter their circumstances. It is a tribute to authors, illustrators, books, and, most importantly, readers everywhere.

Each year, the World Book Advisory Committee chooses a World Book Capital, and this year it is Strasbourg, France. We think they phrased it perfectly: "In uncertain times, many are turning to books as a refuge and a source of dreams. Indeed, books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. This is why we must ensure everyone has access to knowledge and reflection through books and reading. This is why UNESCO designates a world book capital each year. "

As they say, "Changing lives through a love for reading and books!" How will Strasbourg, France celebrate World Book Day?

Stack of hardcover books with 'World Book Day 2024' text on blue background.

When Is World Book Day?

UNESCO officially designated World Book Day on April 23rd, and it is recognized in over 100 countries around the world. The date is particularly symbolic as it marks the death anniversary of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. These authors don't need any introduction, but we just have to tell you about them anyway! Their contribution to the literary world undoubtedly paved the way for all the wonderful stories we now have in our lives.

William Shakespeare, an English playwright, poet, and actor, has widely been regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Just think of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear to name a few.

Miguel de Cervantes, a Spanish writer, is considered one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. He is most famous for his novel Don Quixote, which was published in the early 1600s. Don Quixote has often been referred to as the first modern novel and even the first great novel of world literature!

What Happens on World Book Day?

A party, of course! This is a day that transforms ordinary days into adventures, mysteries and explorations for readers of all ages.

Schools and libraries become hubs of activity with book-themed events, readings, and workshops. Many bookstores collaborate with publishers and give away books and vouchers, making books more accessible for everyone.

Three kids in costumes playing, one with giant yellow glasses.

And let's not forget that famous tradition of dressing up as your favorite literary character—it's time to step into the shoes of your literary hero for a day! We can't wait to see what our colleagues dress up as, and we might even post a few photos.

Here are some great ideas to get your kids in the mood:

Picky Eater Chef: Kids can dress up as a chef with a twist—perhaps wearing a chef's hat and apron, but with accessories or decorations that highlight their "picky eater" preferences. This is a great idea for kids who loved The League of Picky Eaters by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic.

Kick Winter, Young Scientist: Dress up as the protagonist, Kick, with a science twist. Think lab coat, safety goggles, and maybe a magnifying glass to represent her scientific approach to solving the monster mystery. Adding a notebook with her monster research would be a great touch. Yes, this is the perfect costume for tweens who loved The Monster Hypothesis by Romily Bernard.

Explorer/Adventurer Outfit: This is a fabulous idea for fans of The Adventure is Now by Jess Redman featured in The Brave Explorer Box. Reflecting the book's adventurous spirit, children can dress as explorers or adventurers. Think about including a makeshift map of flames, a compass, binoculars, and a backpack filled with "exploration gear" like a flashlight, a notebook, and pencils for drawing maps - The Brave Explorer box contains surprise gifts needed by every adventurer!

The options are endless, from their favorite superhero to simply arriving in pajamas with their favorite book. It is guaranteed to be a bookishly fun day!

Happy young girl reading a yellow book with a pink backpack on.

World Book Day's Impact on Promoting Literacy

The impact of World Book Day on promoting literacy and reading can't be underestimated. By making books more accessible, and encouraging reading as a shared community activity, World Book Day helps ignite a passion for reading in those who might not otherwise even pick up a book.

Research has shown that engaging with books from an early age improves literacy rates, academic success, and empathy. In addition, this wonderful day emphasizes the importance of storytelling in understanding our world, fostering a sense of empathy, and connection among readers of all ages.

In many parts of the world, World Book Day has helped increase access to books in underprivileged communities through those all-important book donations and mobile libraries. These initiatives play a crucial role in bridging the literacy gap and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to discover the joy of reading.


World Book Day is more than a celebration of books and reading; it's a movement toward creating a more literate, informed, and connected world. By emphasizing the importance of reading for pleasure and the role of books in our lives, World Book Day helps foster a global community of readers who appreciate literature's power to entertain, educate, and inspire.

We are all about bringing books to life, and as we mark this day, let's remember the magic of reading and the incredible doors it opens. Give the gift of reading this World Book Day with Once Upon a Book Club!