Books have always found a way to connect people. Though often portrayed as a lonely hobby, reading helps transport readers to a new reality. Books challenge people to seek a new perspective in life and they help build a bridge of understanding between one reader to the next.
World Book Day is an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The day is dedicated to honoring the importance of literature worldwide. On April 23, booklovers around the globe find different ways to celebrate their passion for reading. This year, World Book Day turned into a week-long event with many publishing companies working together to bring a bit of good in the world’s current crisis.
With many book signings and festivals closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, authors and publishing companies have taken the liberty to host online events. Some publishing companies teamed up to host YallStayatHome. This two day extravaganza took place on April 25-26 and was a way to compensate for the sudden cancelation of Yallwest. Yallwest is the biggest young adult book festival on the West Coast and has been an annual event since 2011.
During the event, authors used Zoom to host free panels so that they could continue to promote their work and share their writing experiences with their audiences. All participants were invited to enter giveaways ranging from advanced reader copies to subscription boxes. Teens could enter writing or fan art contests for a chance to have their work featured on official publishing websites.
Wednesday Books hosted their own WB Reader Fest from April 20- 25. Writers hosted Instagram livestreams where they answered questions from readers and shared their writing techniques. Similar to YallStayatHome, WB Reader Fest also held giveaways for their participants, giving them the chance to win advanced reader copies of this year’s most anticipated books in the young adult genre.
The celebration of literature does not have to end after World Book Day. If you missed YallStayatHome, the official World Book Day website offers a selection of free audiobooks as well as ideas for different activities that can make reading more fun for kids. World Book Day is also a charity organization that aims to provide books for people in youth centers, prisons and other settings.
Goodreads, the popular book catalog site, is always offering giveaways for all genres from fiction to memoirs. Booktuber, Youtubers with channels centered around books, post reviews and hauls year round for those looking for a community to chat about new reads. Publishing companies like Penguin Reads and Harper Teen Books have channels too with book trailers and interviews with authors.
The world has been going through a rough couple of months. Many countries, like the United States, have had to call for a mandatory quarantine period. If we all remain indoors and limit our contact with others we can slow down the spread of the virus. Fortunately, staying indoors gives everyone time to stay connected through stories online or in print. Having a way to still connect with people who share the same love for books as I do has helped me stay social even when practicing social distancing. I hope everyone can find a similar online community to chat with. In the meantime, why not crack open a good book and read to pass the time.