I have a confession - I don't like World Book Day! It feels contrived and a little self-important. We who love books know who we are, we don't need to shout it out to the world. I appreciate that it gives books sunlight, drags them out from beneath all those cinema reviews and You Tube shares, but does anyone not switched on by books ever have a Eureka moment on World Book Day and realise what they have missed? Most of Friday's media attention focused on the plight of parents desperate to put their kids in authentic costume plus a few quibbles because little girls dressed as the princess from Frozen and that isn't a book.
I suggest we replace it with World Reading Day and share our favourite novels or even scenes from novels. I can imagine someone who has never read Wolf Hall but loved the BBC drama could be really switched on by the Bring Up the Bodies scene I mentioned last week - Henry is thought dead, and Cromwell sees every face around him contemplate what this means for them. Collective calls of 'long live the king' are a myth, he realises.
World Reading Day would be active - read! Take time out of your day to indulge in this hugely healthy hobby.Escape to another time, place - gender even! The possibilities are immense.