The Importance of World Book Day

April 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm 24 comments

Victoria Barnsley at the Guardian Books Blog writes about why World Book Day matters more than ever:

[I]f I have one modest wish, it is that, at least for a day, we ponder the real and spiritual poverty of a life lived without the ability to read, without the sheer joy of escaping into a good book. I can’t put it half as eloquently as Julian Barnes who, explaining how books can help us steer through the tricky waters of life, said in Flaubert’s Parrot: “Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t.”

[…]

It’s true that World Book Day in the UK has always had a huge emphasis, rightly so, on children. We know that if they catch the bug young, children will become lifelong readers. But for those who have missed out on the opportunity, the Quick Reads series launched in 2006 has been a great success. Aimed at reaching out to the millions of adults in the UK with reading difficulties and the one-third of the British population that never picks up a book, they are written by bestselling authors for both emergent readers and for readers wanting a short, pacy read. And research shows that once they have acquired the habit of reading, they never lose it.

Books have been absolutely vital for me, from the time I first learned to read until the present day. Every night before I sleep, with very few exceptions, I read from a book. At varying points in my nearly 35 years in this incarnation, I have looked to books for knowledge, for escape, for alternate points of view, and for enlightenment. I simply can’t imagine my life without them.

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Entry filed under: Recreational Reading.

World Book Day 2010 A Love Poem for World Book Day

24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Per Sheng Xiang  |  April 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Through this meaningful World Book Day, I have learned about the importance of reading books and also the advantages of it, such as gaining knowledge. And as the quote above says, “Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t.”, it’s only through reading books when we can forget all our troubles and difficulties, and totally relaxed, immensed ourselves into an imaginative and creative world. This event is good as it reminds us the importance and also the presence of books, especially with the technology so advanced. This is indeed an important and useful event.

    Reply
  • 2. Kwek Zheng Hua  |  April 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Though I agree with most of what they have said, I disagree with the bold sentence. The reason why the book enlightens us about things is that they were solved with science, which in life, leaves us to figure out. And even though books do help us understand life’s wonders, some are not entirely, or not at all, published for that means.

    Reply
    • 3. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  April 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      I’m not sure I understand what you mean, Zheng Hua, as this is a very vague statement. What has been “solved” by science? And what does this have to do with the way that books explain things?

      Reply
  • 4. Tsang Bao Xian  |  April 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I would like to make a few points about Zheng Hua’s comments. Although books are published for different means, (in this case story books) their content is the one helping us understand life’s wonders. What other means can a book be published? For money? If it is so, then the book must be interesting and catchy. If you look closely, you will find that almost all books have emotions in them, coupled with action, suspense, but this emotions they have itself already shows us about life! Whether the person is angry or sad, evil or kind, it shows us the way life is. In life, not all people are kind, not always are people happy. In life, you can talk to a person, without having an idea what the person is thinking of. In books, you see two people talking, and you know what they are talking about. That’s how a book help us understand life’s wonders. They let us know more about what others thoughts will be like, and let us know that the truth is not always what we think is true!

    Reply
  • 5. Tan Jun Jie  |  May 1, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I feel that the phrase: ” Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t” is very true. The writer puts in effort to write down every single important detail in a manner that it not only feel that we know every part of the story but it makes us feel that we are inside the story while it slowly captures us with the interesting things and obstacles put before the protagonist. It makes us feel that we need to solve each obstacle before we can continue reading. While life doesnt’… In the book, or a good book, it can tell you that: “But it was a grave mistake…” while life would not! If you made a mistake in life, it cannot be changed but if a mistake was made in the book, we can erase and then re-write the story by ourselves and feel the joy of writing and creating a story. Books are now not very popular because of eBooks and computers and with the recent iPad, demand in books would drop. So World Book Day is an important event that shows us the importance of reaading a good book.

    Reply
  • 6. Fun Xue Yao  |  May 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

    After reading the post, I now understand the importance of the World Book Day. Books can give us invaluable knowledge that we will need eventually. Just like what we always hear from our parents nowadays, books can help you to improve your oral skill and writing skills. I have once encountered this in my life. I did badly in my englis exam when I was in Primary 5, and my father always nagged at me to read books. Seeing that I have nothing to lose, I decided to read a book. Once I have started reading, I could not seen to find myself stop as if I was addicted. After reading one, I started to read more and more books and I saw the effect of reading books. My english exam results when up! Thus, reading books can really give you knowledge that you will eventually find useful. I was surprisedv to know that millions of adults in UK has reading difficulties and one-third of the British population never picks up a book. This further increases the importance of World Book Day. Thus, World Book Day is really a big deal for all of us.

    Reply
  • 7. Tan Chuan Xin  |  May 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I agree with the fact that ‘once they have acquired the habit of reading, they never lose it’. I am one very good example. Up until primary 4, I never had an interest in books. When my parents bought me to the library, I just sat in the chairs and stoned. No matter what they did, I did not read a single book except my textbook. However, peer infleunce can be much more potent than parent’s advice sometimes. When one of my friends recomended a book to me, I immediately went to the library to check it out. Once I started reading it, it was as though I was addicted. I blazed through the 300+ pages in under 2 hours. It was after reading that I realised – books are a wonderful thing. I was constantly borrowing and reading books from the library, even up till now. Thus, I agree that once you pick up the habit of reading a book, you never lose it.

    Reply
  • 8. Shie Yu Hao  |  May 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I agree that the fact that once you picked up the habit of reading, you will never lose it. I, myself is never a bookworm, whenever it comes to reading, I will try means and ways to try not to read but I know that without reading, I will never know what is happening in the world, therefore, I started to read when I was in primary 5, no matter how ‘difficult’, I still continue reading, slowly, as time pass, I slowly pick up the habit of reading in the end of year of my primary 5 life, now, reading becomes part of my life, without reading, I just feel something is missing or amiss.

    Reply
  • 9. Goh Jun Liang  |  May 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I agree that books are of importance, and I cannot imagine a life without books. Books give us a insight into the inner thoughts of a character, or many. In real life, this never happens. You never know what someone else is thinking.
    Books also explain everything to you. As Julian Barnes said in Flaubert’s Parrot: “Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this.” In life, many things are not explained.
    Books provide insights to many things, be they current affairs, or fictional events. By reading books, you are able to learn many things.

    Reply
  • 10. Nathaniel Soon  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Yes, I agree that books are important. Although I did not have much interest in reading, I find that reading has many benefits. It helps us improve our language, and it is also a useful hobby! After reading the post, I agree about the importance of world book day and to help cultivate the joy and interest of reading in everyone!

    Reply
  • 11. Tab shaowei  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Throught this book day,I have learnt that books will stay with us even with the development if e-books.books can help us by broadening our vocabulary and improve our communication skills as we learn, better know the words meaning so we can use them more frequently in our essays more things and idioms in every book we read.Once,I spent a whole 2 hours reading a book and when I finished I learnt that if you read properly, like taking care to place the book 30cm from your face an not to read in dark places,books can surpass the e-book craze that is now happening as the new apple I pad just came out in the USA .all in all,I think that world book day is really a worthwhile thing to celebrate.

    Reply
  • 12. tan shao wei  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    through this book day, i have learnt that books will stay with us even with the development of e-books.books can help us by broadening our vocabulary and improve our communication skills as we learn.we can better understand the words meaning so we can use them more frequently in our speech and essays.also, the e-books if not read properly, may lead to our eyes becoming myopic and thus making you wear glasses so the books seem like a better alternative than the e-book.all in all i think that the people of the world should come together on the world book day o celebrate this wonderful event.

    Reply
  • 13. Chan Chia Ler  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I agree on the fact that reading books are absolutely vital for some of us. I myself is a good example. Whenever I have problems in my studies, the answer to my problems are always out there in books. I do not often use the internet for reference. I prefer books,as the answers in the internet might be untrue and there might be viruses in the websites. However, for books, the information in books are most probably true as they are being edited many times by professionals.There is also no possibility of viruses in books. The other benefits of books are that books are a prefect piece of techonology, as they can be carried around, can be read without the use of electricity, and would not get damaged when we dropped them on the ground.

    Reply
  • 14. Samuel Low  |  May 12, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I agree that once you have picked up the good habit of reading you will never lose it.Because a book has the power to fascinate anyone.Also books will teach you how to do things,as the quote says’“Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t.”, so it is a good habit of reading.

    Reply
  • 15. Leow Yong Heng  |  May 12, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I agree with what Xue Yao said that books can give us invaluable knowledge.At first,I did not like reading books as I thought that they were just a bunch of papers with words and sometimes pictures in them.However,in primary 6 I was not very good in my subjects.I then tried many ways to improve my subjects and also tried to start to read books. When the exams came,I found some of the words that I had read in the books that I read and had a better understanding of the meaning of the word.I cannot possibly imagine a world without books.

    Reply
  • 16. Yu Wei Ran  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I agree the fact that once you pick up the habit of reading, you will never lose it. I, myself is an example. I first picked up the habit of reading when I was in primary 3, when we were”forced” to read. At first, I hated reading very much as think it is a burden to me. Since I had not many english books at home, I decided to go to the library. Soon, I realised that the time spent in libraries have became much longer than before, and when I went to China for SAP, I had no books to read and felt I was missing something. Now, I go to a library almost every two days and had almost read every book about cars in the Jurong Regional Library.

    Reply
  • 17. Winston Tan  |  May 12, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    World Book Day is a day whereby reading is being promoted. It is meant for people around the world to understand the importance of reading and attract thousands of people to pick up the good habit of reading. I feel that reading is important as it improves our English by a lot. Though I enjoy reading the newpaper more to books, I hope to start reading more books in the future.

    Books are just like rollar coasters. They take you on a wild ride and before you know it, your at the ending point. Books are made to be interesting and thus makes the reader want to complete the book. There are of course ups and downs in the rollar coasters rides. Books always have an interesting part in it. Authors make books an exciting thing to read, so that readers read to find out the climax and the resolution to the problem faced by the protagonist.

    I agree to the fact that once you have picked up the habit of reading, you will never lose it. Reading is something that benefites the world. My first impression when I saw a book was that I did not like reading. I thought it was going to be boring to read books because of books were just text and maybe some pictures too. My mother told me to read a book when I was young. It was then when I realised that reading was not that bad at all. It kept me on my sofa for two hours when I read my very first book!

    I really hope everyone out there in the world should pick up the good habit of reading. Reading can certainly make a difference to your life. To some vivid readers, reading lights up their lives. It gives them the knowledge and will to succeed in life. Reading is a form of relaxation to many. I read books when I’m frustrated. It calms me down and makes me start thinking positively again.

    Therefore, I feel World Book Day is important as reading is essential to our lives. As children, we need to start small by picking up a book at a young age. As for the older generation who do not read books, I urge all of you read. It is never too late to start.

    Reply
  • 18. Keith Tan  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I feel that what the sentence in bold says is really what it is the difference between reading books and talking, and I certainly agree with it. Sometimes when I am watching a movie (e.g. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief), I get a little confused as in the movie, they do not exactly explain all the parts to you but rather only some. Whereas when reading a book, not only does it give you a full explanation, if you are not that clear about something, you can always go back to the page and read it over and over again until you understand it. Therefore, I usually prefer reading a book to watching a movie if there is a hardcopy version.

    Reply
  • 19. Jaron Cheung  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I agree with the fact that once you pick up the habit of reading, it is hard to change the habit. I know of this as I, myself, have experienced it before. Although I am not a bookworm, I also like to read adventure books, and everyone knows that an adventure story has many series, so I will buy all of them and read them all. Thus, I agree that once you pick up the habit of reading, you will not lose it for a lifetime.

    Reply
  • 20. Tan Yan Shen  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I feel that books are still as important as ever; it is part of our lifes, though in different forms. Some people consider books as information provider, others consider it as resource, and some others treat it as pleasure. For me, I consider it as pleasure. I stated reading at around Primary one, but then, now I have lesser time to read. However, most of the free time I have is used for reading, so I would not miss out on anything. World Book Day might not be needed if the ulitimate goal is reached, that is, to make everyone read, and enjoy it. However, we cannot really say that it is not needed, we still need an occasion to “glorify” books. After all, they are as important as ever.

    Reply
  • 21. Jia Xiaodong  |  May 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I agree to this phrase :”We know that if they catch the bug young, children will become lifelong readers.” It is true that if we start young, we will become lifelong readers. However, many have missed this chance. World book day is a splendid chance to start. We should not miss this good chance to jump into a great world of unlimited freedom, knowledge and wonder. Personally, I think that reading is a very good way to de-stress. While many other may not think so, books make me ‘hypnotized’. And whatever stress I have will get sucked into that ‘black hole’ I am holding in my hands. Reading also gives us knowledge. As the saying goes,’knowledge is power’. Without any knowledge, you will be nothing, just a lump of matter wasting the world’s precious oxygen. Now in this new world of technology, without knowledge, you will be left out, and marginalized from normal people. So grab a book, start reading!

    Reply
  • 22. Josiah Tan  |  June 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    After reading the post, I now understand the importance of the World Book Day. Books can give us invaluable knowledge that we will need eventually.Through reading books, we can improve on our reading and writing skills. At first, i always hated reading books, but my elder sister started introducing me to some books and encouraged me to read them, and so I did. When a composition test came up, I was able to use some good phrases and I was able to write the composition more fluently. Thus, reading books can really give you knowledge that you will eventually find useful, World Book Day is really a big deal for all of us.

    Reply
  • 23. Li Wong Kin, 1P413  |  August 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    After the World Book Day, I have finally realize the importance of reading traditional books. I think that reading books is very important in our part of life as books will help you gain very much knowledge and it is also a great way to make yourself relax and go into the world of imaginations. I think that every students should get the habit of reading books, at least each of us should read 2 books in a month.

    Reply
  • 24. Andre Poh Zhen Yang  |  August 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    After reading the meaningful post on World Book Day, I now understand the importance of the it. When we read books,we can gain invaluable knowledge that we may need in another part of our life. As we hear from our parents and also our teachers, books can help us to improve our reading skills, writing skills as well as oral skills. Not only these, we can also improve our grammar and vocabulary through reading good books. World Book Day is a good and important event as it will remind us constantly about the importance and also the presence of books. Now, the technology is so advance, everyone uses the internet to search for information. I have heard from my parents that during their time, computers were very expensive and few could afford it. Therefore, they had to go the the library and search for information if the need arises. As almost every household has a computer, everyone can excess the internet easily and soon, they will forget about the existence of books. Hence, this event will remind us that books are around and we should appreciate them.

    Reply

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