5 Ways to Celebrate National Book Month!

October is when the USA celebrates all things bookish. The folks behind National Book Month are particularly interested in getting kids engaged with the literary world and finding new ways to encourage reading. Here are a few suggestions on how you can enjoy National Book Month and cultivate a life-long love affair with the written word.

1. Take a trip to a second-hand shop for new books

Reading doesn’t have to be expensive. Second-hand shops can have incredible troves of books waiting to be discovered, and taking your children to hunt down some book treasures can be an enjoyable activity for the full family.

What’s more, you can make an activity out of donating books you no longer read to those same charity shops. This can create a habit for your children that shows them how literature can be shared, and to think about others and how they will enjoy those stories.

2. Write letters to authors

Does your child have a favorite author? Do you?

While authors may have a reputation for being reclusive, that’s mostly undeserved. In fact, authors are often fantastically responsive to letters, and given the many ways we can contact people through social media today, it is easier than ever to reach out to a writing favorite.

So, if your child has any burning questions about their favorite book or simply wants to say thanks to their literary hero, why not help them write a letter to the author and see what responses come back. Not all authors will have the time, but you might be surprised how willing an author is to listen to their fans.

Scholastic has a guide for writing to its authors, and many other publishers will give tips on ensuring your letters get to where they need to be in order to get read.

3. Start a book club

Book clubs don’t just have to be about all reading the same book with your friends (though of course they can be if you want to do that). You can get inventive and allow people to bring in their favorite books to talk about why they love them, swap books between the group, and even host book parties where you talk about all things literary. This is a great way to enjoy what you read and also to find ways to look at new literature. This idea is also easily adaptable for children and makes an ideal play date.

If you don’t have the means to make a book club in person, sites like Goodreads offer an easy way to cultivate book club groups.

4. Join your local library

Libraries aren’t just places where books are kept, for many towns they are the heartbeat of learning. Sadly, libraries are under threat and need our support to stay open. So instead of buying books at supermarkets for discounts that can actually hurt smaller book publishers and drive down the revenue seen by most authors, why not put your money to donating to libraries and using their catalogs. If they don’t have a book you love, you could also ask about donating the book from your collection, thereby adding to the resources your library enjoys. All libraries have different rules about this, but I’m sure you can work with your library to help them help your community.

5. Support independent bookstores

If there are indie bookstores in your area, you can try making it part of your routine to go to them and spend your hard-earned book money. It’s true that you’re less likely to see the discounts that you are used to getting at big book retailers, but independent book stores are crucial for the health of the literary market because they take books that big bookstores won’t take a chance on. That can be absolutely vital for smaller presses and authors who are daring to do something new. Even if you can’t afford to buy from independent bookstores often, setting up a relationship with your nearest indie outfit can at least broaden its scope and help it get discovered by people who are in a position to spend money. So give it a go, you’ll often find bookstores have some of the nicest people.

6. Write your own book

They say everyone has a book in them, so it could be time to discover yours. What is your story? How will you tell it? National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in November, so this is the perfect time to start planning.  Use October to pull together all the notes you’ve made about your novel, bin your “some day” wishes and start actually getting your book writing muscles ready. Then, when November comes round, join the NaNoWriMo movement and aim to get your novel written. What better way to celebrate books than to add your own story to the literary world?

34 comments

Aaron F
Aaron F5 days ago

I made a donation to my local library...and checked out five books...

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JT Smith
JT Smith5 days ago

I'd love to write to one of my favourite authors, but a response would require a Ouija board, a necromancer, or a time machine; though the first two would really freak out Douglas Adams.

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Glennis W
Glennis W8 days ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W8 days ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W8 days ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Kelsey S
Kelsey S8 days ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winn A8 days ago

:-)

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Winn A
Winn A8 days ago

Thanks

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Lisa M
Lisa M8 days ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M8 days ago

Noted.

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