Are books worth more than a day?
We are just coming to the end of Pride Month which, I think everyone can agree, is a worthy subject for a month of celebration and reflection. It is especially relevant to children's writers, as we have a responsibility to help children understand and accept diversity, helping to eliminate the 'not my tribe' mentality that lies at the root of so much discrimination.
However, this post isn't really about Pride Month, although it was certainly the trigger. It got me thinking about these national and international awareness days/weeks/months and, in particular, who gets to decide what gets a day and what doesn't.
For example, Jazz gets a UN-approved international day (30th April) but Blues, Grime and Death Metal aren't awarded the same recognition. Likewise, Chess gets an international day (20th July) but I'd be far more likely to take part in World Hungry Hippos Day.
And who gets to decide how long the awareness event should be? If Toilets are worthy of a day (19th November), then I think it is entirely justified to give Disarmament a week (24th-30th October). But then Water, Wildlife and Peace only get a day each; the same as Yoga, Soil and Obstetric Fistulas.
But why am I going on about this? Well, Books, in all their subjects, age ranges and formats, only get a day (23rd April), which I think is far too short to celebrate such a huge and important part of world culture. Do books really rank alongside Pulses, Banks and Argania (What even is that???). Surely books deserve a week at least? There's plenty of spare time in the UN's calendar. Most importantly, a week would give more time for author-led events and weekend festivals, which can't be crammed into a single weekday.
Of course, it might be the UN still thinks a day is enough. In which case, I propose we unilaterally declare a World Book Week. After all, International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) has been running for 26 years, with millions of adherents around the globe, so I'm sure Books can achieve the same.
Would you like a World Book Week? let us know in the comments below.