Six Literary Holidays We Wish Existed
As the holiday season approaches, I’ve been thinking about some of the literary holidays I wish existed. Don’t get me wrong: I’m psyched for Thanksgiving, and I think our existing holidays are swell. But here are a few more bookish occasions I’d love to celebrate:
Here’s how I envision Literary Thanksgiving: You have all of your friends over for a nice dinner, and everyone brings a copy of a book that they’re thankful for. Maybe you bring The Hobbit because you love discovering new worlds, or Island of the Blue Dolphins because it’s the book that made you fall in love with reading, or Pride and Prejudice because it was the first romance that really melted your heart. Then you would go around the table and everyone tells the story of why they’re thankful that the book they brought exists, and what the book means to them. And then, at the end of the night, everyone swaps books and goes home with a new book to fall in love with. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
Harry Potter Re-Reading month
We all love Harry Potter. Sure, it’s such a cultural phenomenon, and you can quote the books anytime you want and people will get the reference. But how awesome would it be if we had one month set aside every year when everyone can re-read and re-experience the magic of Harry Potter together? Those of us who grew up back when new Harry Potter books were being released will never be able to recreate the magic of finally getting our hands on the new book and reading it alongside all of our friends. But if we all reread the books at the same time, we’d get pretty darn close to experiencing the magic together again. I imagine it as a month with NaNoWriMo-esque intensity, where you “win” the month if you get through all seven books during the month. Who’s up to the challenge?
Dress Up as Your Favorite Literary Character Day
Maybe this holiday already exists, and maybe it’s called Halloween. (Halloween is my favorite holiday, so maybe I’d just like an excuse to celebrate a second, more bookish version of Halloween?) As much as I love Halloween, I’d like to see a second costume holiday less focused on risque getups (sexy Katniss Everdeen, anyone?), and more focused on geeking out about our favorite books. I imagine this holiday as taking place during the summertime, and everyone dresses as their favorite character and then has a nice picnic in a pretty park. Although the candy part of Halloween should definitely be carried over to literary character day. There should be lots of candy at these bookish dress-up picnics. And if you can make sweets that relate to your chosen literary costume, more power to you.
Vinyl enthusiasts relish that special Saturday in April when record stores have special, limited edition releases. Music fans line up around the block for these coveted Record Store Day releases, and the air is full of excitement. Now, how great would it be if we had a Book Store Day? Bookworms young and old would line up at their favorite bookstore to get their hands on special releases by their favorite authors. I imagine Book Store Day specials would be something like little limited-print-run, zine-style booklets with short stories by our favorite authors, which is basically the literary equivalent of a 45. Plus, it’d be a great excuse to hang out at your local bookstore with fellow readers for a few hours.
10-word love story day
Plenty of people celebrate Valentine’s Day, but how fun would it be if there was a day where everyone wrote their 10-word love stories and gave them to their significant others, friends, or other loved ones? I don’t know about you, but I’d love receiving a sweet 10-word love story instead of a cheesy store-bought Valentine’s Day card. And I love the idea of a day where everyone is encouraged to be creative, and where that creativity is somehow related to celebrating a romance or a friendship with someone special.
Read a book by someone of a different background day
Stop for a moment and think about the books you’ve read over the last year. Were they mostly written by people from a particular racial group, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or part of the world? Sometimes, without thinking of it, we end up limiting our reading choices to a particular, small section of this great wide world. That’s why it’d be amazing to have a day (or maybe even a month?) where we readers consciously branch out and try to read more diverse books by more diverse authors.
Those are just a few of the bookish holidays I’d love to be able to mark on my calendar. Of course, there already are some literary holidays that exist. What literary holidays would you want to celebrate? Have you ever celebrated an existing literary holiday?