Book Lovers Day
the first Saturday in November
annually on August 9th
People love reading books for various reasons. Reading is not only a hobby that is relaxing and entertaining, but it has many benefits: it sharpens the mind, reduces stress, gives readers new information, and helps them gain new perspectives—making them more empathetic. These qualities have helped create so many book lovers throughout the world, making it fitting there is a Book Lovers Day.
The written word has been recorded on many different mediums throughout history, and books have followed these developments. Clay tablets inscribed with Cuneiform and Sumerian date to the third millennium BCE. Afterward, marrow began being extracted from the stems of Papyrus reeds, being used to make a material to write on, appropriately called papyrus. It was often used for sacred writing and was often made into scrolls.
Parchment, made from the skins of animals, made its debut around 300 BCE; it had a higher durability than papyrus but was more expensive. Hand-bound books called codices began to replace scrolls, but these too were expensive. Paper came about in China, becoming widespread in the third century. Water-powered paper mills during the Middle Ages further expanded the use of paper, making it easier and cheaper to make, which in turn also made books more accessible.
One of the other biggest factors that led to the proliferation of books was the invention of the printing press around the year 1440, which caused book prices to continue to drop, and made it easy to distribute them. Most books were printed in Latin at the time, but they eventually began being printed in native languages. Accessibility continued to increase in the nineteenth century, with the creation of steam printing presses and steam paper mills. Further changes, such as the emergence of typewriters, computers, desktop publishing, and e-books, have continued to alter the way that books are made and read.
How to Observe
Spend the day reading as much as possible. Grab a book off your bookshelf or head to the library. Find a specific book—such as one of the best novels or nonfiction books of all time—or wander up and down the aisles and browse until something piques your interest. Other ways to celebrate the day could be to go to a book sale, to start a Little Free Library, or to organize your bookshelves. If you know someone who is a diehard book lover, perhaps you could buy them the first edition of one of their favorite books.