11 Literary Holidays You Need To Add To Your Calendar If You're A Book-Lover
After what seemed like the longest twelve months in recorded history, 2017 is finally over, and there is a lot to look forward in the new year. While you're marking your 2018 calendar with important dates, anniversaries, and celebrations to come, make sure to mark down Burns Day and 11 other unique literary holidays you should celebrate this year.
Whether you consider yourself a hardcore bibliophile or a casual reader, there are probably dozens of literary holidays you know about and look forward to celebrating every year. There's World Book Day and National Poem in Your Pocket Day in April, Book Lovers Day and Coloring Book Day in August, and the now famous Banned Books Week in September. But in between the well-known celebrations like the Ides of March and Bloomsday are so many other equally entertaining bookish dates worth knowing about.
Have you ever wanted to show you librarian just how much you appreciate what they do? There's a holiday (okay, several holidays) for that. Are you obsessed with not only reading but telling good narratives? Just wait until April. Do you love science fiction and can't wait to celebrate its most famous writers? Don't worry, there's a day for that, too.
If you want 2018 to be the best and most awesomely bookish year yet, make sure you are celebrating these 12 fun and unique literary holidays.
January 25: Burns Supper
Grab your favorite sonnet and pour your finest glass of whiskey, because January 25 is officially Burns Supper. Otherwise known as Burns Night, this annual tradition celebrates beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns and includes bagpipes, poetry readings, dancing, and plenty of traditional dishes. Haggis, anyone?
February 14: Library Lover's Day
This year, spend Valentine's Day with your first true love: books. Not only is February 14th a day for lovers, it is also a day for library lovers. Celebrate by spending time at your local branch, where you can not only find incredible books, but great programming, important resources, and some of the most helpful people on the planet: librarians.
March 2: Read Across America Day
We all know about the Ides of March, but if you want to celebrate a less depressing literary-linked holiday, make sure you participate in 2018 Read Across America Day. Set on March 2 in honor of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss's birthday, the NEA's annual reading awareness program encourages children, their families, and their communities to enjoy books together.
April 27: National Tell a Story Day
In 1996, April was officially crowned National Poetry Month, but if you prefer prose to verse, there is still a day for you. April 27 marks National Tell a Story Day, a holiday that encourages people of all ages to share stories, whether it is one of their own or from another book. If you have been waiting to try our a narrative, this day is your chance.
May 2: Harry Potter Day
Why wait until J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter's shared birthday in July when you could celebrate your favorite series two whole months early. The anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, May 2 is a significant holiday to witches, wizards, and muggles alike who always believed good could conquer evil — which, obviously it always does.
June 22: Octavia Butler's Birthday
You've probably celebrated Bloomsday! on June 16, but have you ever properly honored the Dame of Science Fiction? On June 22, throw a birthday party for Octavia Butler, who was born on this day in 1947. Fun activities can include reading her classics like Kindred or Parable of the Sower, or anxiously debating the details of the upcoming TV adaptation of Dawn.
July 30: Paperback Book Day
Celebrate this seasonally appropriate holiday by taking your newest paperback to the beach and enjoying some old-fashioned relaxation this Paperback Book Day. In honor of the day the first paperback was introduced in 1935, proper celebrations for the holiday include binge-reading, bargain book shopping, and plenty of bookstagramming.
August 9: Book Lover's Day
You have probably heard of National Book Lovers Day before, but to be honest, there aren't many literary holidays in August, and this one is truly one of my favorites. It is the perfect opportunity to do all of the bookish activities you love without feeling guilty about it, including visiting your local bookstore for a shopping spree, taking a literary-themed trip, or binge-watching your favorite adaptations. National Book Lovers Day is also a great excuse to give back to the bookish community through volunteering or donating however you can.
September 22: Hobbit Day
The last week in September is famous for Banned Books Week, which includes some pretty incredible programming and feels especially relevant in an age where the sitting president is attempting to prevent certain books from being published, but there is another fun, lesser-known holiday this month, too: Hobbit Day. The official birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, September 22 gives hungry readers the perfect excuse to binge-read one of the greatest trilogies of all time over not one but two breakfasts.
October 16: Dictionary Day
Do you love learning new words and their definitions? Are you constantly correcting people on pronunciation? If so, October 16 just may be your new favorite day of the year. Created in honor of the first dictionary publisher Noah Webster's birthday, Dictionary Day is meant to emphasize learning and the importance of language. You can participate by teaching yourself a new word, or donating to literacy organizations around the world.
November 18: High-Five a Librarian Day
Everyone knows November as NaNowRiMo: National Novel Writing Month. You can take a break from penning the Next Great American Novel on November 18, though, by high-fiving your local librarian and telling them why you love what they do.
December 1: Sherlock Holmes Day
While I love using December to celebrate Jane Austen, whose birthday falls on the 16th, the month also offers up another fun opportunity to honor a different British great: Sherlock Holmes. As legend has it, "A Study in Scarlet," the first Sherlock Holmes story, was published on this day in 1887. While the actual date is highly debated, you can use December 1 as an excuse to read your favorite mystery or watch your favorite adaptation of the classic British detective stories.