World Book Day…

Today, 3 March, is World Book Day which is a thing sponsored by UNESCO.

Here, in the UK, all up and down the country, children will be given £1 vouchers to spend on a book at a book store of their choice. 

 This is a cool thing, I think. 

Especially as, 200 years ago here in England, the literacy rate was somewhere around 44%-48%.  It was higher for women.

Think about that. 

It means that roughly every other person one met, 200 years ago, couldn’t read or write.   Can you imagine such a thing?

And that’s why I think World Book Day is such a great idea, a great day.  People reading.  People celebrating authors.  People buying books.  Children taking the first steps that will lead them to the worlds of Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, Donne…

It’s a small but wonderful measure of how far we’ve come in 200 years.  And I think we should celebrate it…maybe even go buy a book.  And read it.

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3 comments on “World Book Day…

  1. Alas, here in the U.S. it only SEEMS like every other person is illiterate. If only they had that much of an excuse. 😀

  2. That is such a sharp contrast compared to modern day you can’t really comprehend it. Was this true within the aristocracy as well?

    • M M Bennetts says:

      No, the aristocracy could read and write. They would have been educated. But most of their workforce would have been illiterate.

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