There’s something about curling up with a book on a wet spring day. Maybe it’s the susurrus of the turning pages, the light vanilla scent that comes from aging book paper, or just the comforting weight of having the printed page in your hand. Whatever it is, it’s a joy that millions of people all over the world enjoy, and World Book Day is a great day to return to this most beloved of past-times.

UNESCO established this holiday for the purpose of promoting reading, publishing, and copyright issues throughout the world. The date selected carries some important weight, as William Shakespeare, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, and Miguel de Cervantes all passed on this day, along with several others. It is by happy happenstance that certain popular authors were also born on this date.

This is easily one of our favorite holidays, as it promotes understanding, the broadening of the mind, and encourages the growth of imagination in the minds of people of all ages, all over the world. It’s also celebrated in some fantastic ways, like in Spain where the read the entirety of Don Quixote in a two-day reading spree. In Catalonia it actually superseded traditional gifts on The Day of The Rose (practiced since 1436) and books were exchanged instead.

So what’s the big deal about books?

We’re going to presume you asked that question in a curious tone, and not in the tone of someone we’d have to politely but firmly ask to leave our homes. Books are important for mental stimulation, and have been shown to slow down, and possibly prevent, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping your brain active is vital to keeping your brain healthy, and books are great for that!
Reading also helps to expand your vocabulary, introducing you to new words and helping you gain a greater understanding of language and a more ways to express yourself. This kind of knowledge helps you sound better educated, more eloquent, and able to clearly express your ideas, all of which is useful in job hunting and just speaking about important topics.
Additionally, reading has also shown to improve your ability to think analytically, especially if you’re a fan of mystery novels. Figuring out the plot to any book, as well as cogitating on the motivation of the characters within and being able to empathize with them are all results of reading. So when World Book Day comes around, take this opportunity to expand your mind, and add a new book to your list of favorites.

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