Sunday, April 23 is World Book Day, and why not?
If they can have a Hug a Shed and Take a Selfie Day, or Tuba Day or even No Pants Day, they sure as heck should have a World Book Day.
World Book & Copyright Day (that’s the full name) is a yearly event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright. The UNESCO website teaches me that it “is an opportunity to highlight the power of books to promote our vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens.”
That, is grand.
You know what else I find grand?
What is it? It is the experimental brainchild of author Jenny Lawson from Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy fame. The gist is this: On Booksgiving Day Lawson will post about the event on her blog. People who are struggling – often financially, but not always – comment on her Booksgiving post. In their comment they provide a secure link to their Amazon.com Book Wish List and an understanding of why they’re not in a position to buy books they’d like to have. Then, people who are so inclined, may click that link, buy them a book (or more) on their wish list and Amazon ships it (we are not told their full name or address).
This year it was on February 7th and I didn’t stumble upon it until a day or two later. But, neither The Bloggess, her readers nor I, feel kindness should have an expiration date, and it continued for a couple of days.
I read through the posts, found someone, and bought them a book.
It felt great.
Then, I did it again for someone else.
Then it started to feel amazing and here is why:
Everybody loves to get fun mail, right? And who doesn’t love presents? Well, put them together and BOOM someone you never met will stroll to their front porch one day and gasp “what’s this?!”
Just like that you have made someone you never met smile. You just gave someone you never met has the ability to step away from their headaches and troubles of the day when they open their book. Maybe for a little while they forget about their illness or escape, albeit momentarily, from their caregiver responsibilities of someone they love’s illness. Maybe, just maybe, it transports them to a place – any place – from where they are in their life at that moment.
And just like that someone you never met has just felt the kindness and generosity of someone they will never meet.
That is the power of a random act of kindness and books. That, dear friends, is Booksgiving Day.
So, maybe, a fun way to celebrate World Book Day is to surprise someone you love with a brand new copy of a book you have read and loved. Just don’t tell them it is coming. The surprise is the thing. I know I am going to and I already love knowing they’re getting a great book and they have no idea it is on the way.
By the by, Hug a Shed and Take a Selfie Day, Tuba Day and No Pants Day all fall on Friday May 5. Heaven help those who come in receipt of someone predisposed to observe all three simultaneously.