It’s World Book Day today. If you’re on social media, you really might have noticed. There are tweets and Facebook posts with photos of kids in the guise of their favourite bookish characters and just lots of hashtags going on. My youngest is going to school as Paddington Bear. His favourite characters now all wear jeans and t-shirts as he’s older and reads books designed for his age group and he didn’t want to just go to school as himself so he’s having some fun.
And that’s what reading is all about. Having fun. It’s not a job or a chore. It’s a pleasure, a pastime. Fun. Yet, so often I see people pushing themselves through books they’re not enjoying and I wonder why. There are so many books out there. We all talk about the length of our to-be-read lists and yet readers persist in pushing on with books that hold no pleasure for them. Is it because they feel they have to because it’s been given to them as a proof/review copy by a publisher? Don’t. I’ve emailed publishers and apologised that a book isn’t for me and I’ve had to stop reading it. They’ve been fine. Not all books are for all people. Read the books you’ll enjoy.
The same goes for YA. An argument that I hear raging over the internet for months and years and it won’t stop. There’s a snobbery that says adults can’t read YA books so it inhibits readers and does stop them. Don’t let it. Look at the big blockbuster films that are being made from books (Not 50 shades!) half of them are from YA books. So, some adults are reading YA and these are intelligent people.
Read what you want to read. Don’t read what you don’t enjoy. It’s simple. There is so much choice out there for everyone. Every single person is catered for. Enjoy yourself. Indulge your senses in whatever they want to be indulged in and don’t feel guilty. Reading is your pleasure. No-one else’s. You may choose to share it afterwards, but while you’re doing it, it’s yours and yours to enjoy.
So, on that note, I thought I’d leave you with this little video where Neil Gaiman talks of a generation of readers he meets and how books encouraged him to write. It’s beautiful.
Happy World Book Day.