On Thursday 2 March, people across the UK celebrated World Book Day.
The day aims to get children reading by offering them book vouchers, which they can exchange for one of ten free books.
Many primary schools encourage their students to dress up as their favourite book character.
However, the day is not only for children. In Bristol, events were held to remind adults of the importance of reading.
Bristol Student Pen is the Bristol University branch of English Pen, a charity which campaigns for the right of freedom of expression for readers and writers around the world. To mark World Book Day, English students Francesca Newton and Brenda Callis organised an anonymous book sale to help raise awareness of these issues.
Brenda explained that the message of the sale was ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ and that they wanted to encourage people to pick up a book they might not normally read.
— English PEN (@englishpen) 2 March 2017
World Book Day – only for children?
Many independent bookshops in Bristol also support World Book Day. Mike Taylor works in The Last Bookshop on Park Street. All their books are new and on sale for under £3. As a small bookshop, they aren’t able to offer children a chance to cash in their book vouchers, but they still think the day is a good idea.
Mike said: “It’s good to raise the profile of reading among children and their parents.” However, he adds that he doesn’t feel the day does enough to get adults reading. “I think it’s primarily aimed at children,” he said. “But it is good to have people focusing on books.”
Brenda agrees. She wants World Book Day to reach beyond school children, and be an opportunity for people of all ages to have a bit of fun.
With the use of technology increasing, both children and adults are spending more and more time using electronic devices, rather than reading. World Book Day is a great way to remind people of the benefits of picking up a book.
World Book Day tokens can be redeemed at several shops in Bristol between Monday 27 February and Sunday 26 March 2017.
Chloe Dell (video editing, images)
Helen West (words, images)