Today in the UK primary age children are attending school dressed as their favourite characters from fiction, or in many cases copies of images of their favourites as depicted in films or on DVDs.
World Book Day was set up by UNESCO to promote reading for pleasure amongst children as it has been shown repeatedly that those who read for pleasure do much better in school. In order to stimulate interest in reading, each child will take part in activities based around stories at school and will receive a book token to put towards the cost of their choice of reading. This boosts the physical and on-line sale of books worldwide.
In Spain there is a lovely tradition which is celebrated particularly in Catalonia on 23rd April, St. George’s Day. St. George, as well as being patron saint of England, parts of Germany, Georgia and others, is also the patron saint of Catalonia. On this day it is customary to give your loved one a red rose and a book in celebration. This promotes and boosts the numbers of books sold annually and makes for a lovely celebration. Perhaps we should do the same and adopt this tradition to keep our smaller bookshops in business?