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A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.

George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

When a person opens the pages of a new book, they can easily find themselves swept up in a delightful world of unique and interesting characters and stories, or maybe just compelling information. The best books, even instructional ones, guide the reader through a storyscape that builds up and shares the vision of something the author wanted to share with the people of the world.

Read A New Book Month is the perfect opportunity to pick up that novel you’ve been meaning to start, that DIY manual you bought to work on that project but never actually read, or even a technical manual to help with the understanding of a new piece of machinery.

It’s time to celebrate Read a New Book Month!

History of Read A New Book Month

Books have stood as a testament to the spreading of knowledge, the sharing of tales, and the expansion of the mind by recording and passing on these ideas down through a written medium. For centuries, they have been vital for humans to be able to expand their minds beyond physical space and time.

By writing down and replicating the thoughts, ideas, and imaginations of authors to fans, students, and philosophers everywhere, people have developed the ability to share and expand their own thoughts by putting them on paper for others to read.

The first written word seems to have appeared in 3400 BC, and the first story was The Epic of Gilgamesh, a tale of the eponymous ruler of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk who ruled between 2700-2500 BC, told in a mythological style.

While this first tale was written on clay tablets long before the more convenient medium of paper was invented, it none-the-less qualified as a book. Of course, the definition of what constitutes a book has certainly changed over the years, covering everything from bark pages held together in a variety of styles, rolled pages of papyrus, and modernized books more like those that people are familiar with today.

Read A Book Month encourages everyone, adults and children alike, to take in as many books as they can in their lives, learning new things, living creative lives and opening their minds to new forms of philosophy and possibilities. Obviously, this isn’t the only month that people should be reading new books but, hopefully, it will be the beginning of a thirst for knowledge and joy that can come from between the pages of a book.

With a variety of book days, weeks and months throughout the calendar, it’s easy to keep the passion for reading kindled all throughout the year.

Get ready for Read a New Book Month!

Read A New Book Month Timeline

15th Century

Movable metal type is used in Europe 

Revolutionizing the printing process, movable type comes to Europe through Johannes Gutenberg of Germany.[1]


Book sleeves appear 

Getting creative to help readers keep hardback covered books in good shape, book jackets begin to be used.[2]


Book of the Month starts 

Starting as a mail order business, this club helps launch the careers of some important American authors, including Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger.[3]


Penguin paperbacks make an appearance 

Changing the way the world reads books, Penguin improves the “cheap” reputation of paperbacks by choosing “high class” titles for easy, quality reading.[4]


Read Across America is founded 

With the purpose of promoting literacy the National Education Association founds a year-round celebration of reading.[5]

How To Celebrate Read A New Book Month

Reading is fun, and new books hold promise for all sorts of adventure and learning. Try these ideas for celebrating Read a New Book Month and share the love with friends and family:

Read a New Book, Of Course!

Celebrating Read A New Book Month encourages people all over the world to do just what’s in the name: read a new book!

Some people, however, might find that goal to be a little less than ambitious. So instead of just reading one new book, perhaps try to read a new book every week.

Buy Books or Borrow Books

Obviously, buying a new book is a great way to get started in the arena of reading a new book. Books stores are beautiful places with an entire world of information just at your fingertips. But they can also be expensive!

Another good way to get access to books without cost is to trade books with friends and family throughout the month. Don’t have friends who are avid readers (or who are willing to loan out their books)? Head on over to the local library where they’ll have an unending source of new books on offer for everyone’s reading pleasure. Plus, when borrowing a new book instead of buying one, it might come with a bit of motivation to get it finished in a timely manner so it can be returned to its rightful owner on time.

Short or long. Fiction or Non-fiction. Cookbooks or Philosophy books. It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s a new book and it gets read!

Join a Book Club

Make reading a habit throughout the year by joining in on a book club with a group of people, and getting together to read and discuss a different book each month. This can be a fun way to make friends, exchange ideas, engage with people of other cultures and backgrounds, and generally enjoy and explore the beauty of fiction or nonfiction topics brought about by a wide variety of authors. Not sure where to find a book club? Check resources online or at a local library. Or, better yet, start your own book club!

Donate Used Books

Make it easier for others to get access to books by donating those gently used (or never read!) books that have been sitting around and collecting dust. Libraries, bookstores and literacy charities may be useful resources to find people who might love to have a new book gifted to them.

Read A New Book Month FAQs

How long does it take to read a book?

Depending on the book, it might take just a few hours to read a book or it could take 15-20 hours (for 500+pages). So reading a new book in a month should be pretty easy!

How do books make you smarter?

Books not only help increase vocabulary and knowledge, but they expose people to new ideas, fuel the imagination, increase empathy and improve brain health![1]

How to read a book online?

Reading books online is easy–and can often be free! Check with your local or look at Open Library to find books to read online.[2]

What are good books to read?

Just about any genre of book is good to read, as long as the reader finds it interesting, including sci-fi, romance, history, science, literature, mysteries, horror, fantasy, children’s and others.

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