Thursday 6 March is World Book Day, the biggest annual celebration of books and reading in Wales. How will you celebrate in 2014?
No, you’re not seeing things – on 6 March you may just see a Sali Mali, Sam Tân, Rwdlan or Jac y Jwc walking down your street, as youngsters make their way to school dressed as their favourite literary character to celebrate World Book Day, the biggest global celebrations of books and reading. The annual World Book Day celebrations are growing year on year in Wales. Organised by the Welsh Books Council and sponsored by Waterstones, the day is celebrated all over Wales in libraries, schools, colleges and bookshops, as well as in workplaces and offices.
This year, the campaign has launched the hashtag #dathludarllen / #lovetoread to help to get everyone – children and young people, as well as the young at heart – reading. Angharad Wyn Tomos, Reading Promotions Project Manager at the Welsh Books Council, said: "We wanted to launch a hashtag where people who love reading can join in the World Book Day celebrations by hashtaging their posts with #dathludarllen / #lovetoread to join the party, and inspire others to do the same."
Numerous events will take place as part of the World Book Day celebrations, including The Biggest Book Show on Earth at the National Museum, Cardiff, on 14 March. Some 700 primary school pupils will enjoy a free literary show in the company of some of the UK’s most illustrious authors and illustrators, including Angie Sage, David Melling, Justin Somper, Dan Anthony and Daniel Morden, who won the 2013 Tir na n-Og Award. The event is supported by booksellers Waterstones, who contributed the proceeds from the 5p carrier bag levy to support World Book Day events. Chris Laister-Smith, on behalf of Waterstones, said: "For the past three years we’ve supported World Book Day, and it’s great to be involved in such an inspiring campaign once again. We wanted the funds raised from the levy to be put to good use, and it’s wonderful to see them helping to bring books to life for thousands of children, as well as helping the environment."
The Welsh Books Council has also allocated grants to local authorities and libraries throughout Wales to enable them to host their own regional World Book Day Celebrations. Gwynedd Libraries are inviting adult readers to send pictures of themselves reading in unusual locations for a chance to win a Red Letter Day activity. World Book Day is also a great excuse to give someone you love a book. During March, the Welsh Books Council and publishers in Wales have joined forces to offer great discounts on fantastic books which make ideal gifts for children. A wide range of children's books are available at bargain prices, and the Welsh Books Council is encouraging everyone to visit their local bookshop to check out the super-duper books on offer.
Angharad Wyn Tomos, Reading Promotions Project Manager, said: "World Book Day is a great celebration of books and reading, and what better way of celebrating the occasion than giving a book as a gift? The benefits of reading to your child are enormous, and it’s vital that children and young people are inspired to read. This campaign also supports high street bookshops which, together with public libraries, are vital elements in keeping Wales reading." The annual World Book Day lecture for 2014 will be given by Mairwen Jones, former Publishing Director of Gomer Press, and a freelance editorial consultant. The lecture will take place on Wednesday 5 March at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, on the theme ‘Children’s literature in the publishing world’.
This year, S4C is delving into the archive to uncover literary programmes for viewers to enjoy in the run up to World Book Day – whilst Radio Cymru has set itself the challenge of discovering the nation’s favourite literary quotations. Listeners can tune in to the John Hardy programme (Monday to Friday at 14:30) to hear some familiar voices discussing their favourite pieces of literature, and the impact they had on their lives. Those wishing to take part can also tweet their favourite quotations on Twitter, using the hashtag #lovetoread / #dathludarllen.
For those keen on competition, look out for chances to win a BIG World Book Day reading hamper in several newspapers, including the Daily Post, South Wales Evening Post, Llanelli Star, Carmarthen Journal and Y Cymro. The World Book Day team has also joined forces with S4C’s Awr Fawr Cyw and Twf to offer reading hampers suitable for a younger audience. Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said: "The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage people to explore the pleasure to be gained from books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to take part in various activities.
Celebrations are happening all over Wales – at schools, universities and colleges, libraries and community centres – so we hope that there will be an opportunity for everyone to join in the fun." World Book Day 2014 will be held on Thursday 6 March, with many exciting events and activities taking place across Wales. To find out more, please go to readingwales.org.uk or follow us on Facebook Diwrnod Y Llyfr / World Book Day and Twitter @DYLLCymruWBDWales #dathludarllen #lovetoread