Literary holidays to celebrate all year long (and the books to read during them)
Each year, our calendars are loaded with days earmarked for celebrating birthdays, national holidays, and anniversaries. These are all wonderful, of course, but we prefer our holidays to have a bit of a literary twist. There are countless literary holidays you can choose to celebrate at the library but to make this a manageable list, we’re going to highlight our favorites here along with some books and collections you can highlight during those times. Time to set some calendar reminders!
January 18: Winnie the Pooh Day
Everybody’s favorite tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff has been around for ninety years and we celebrate Winnie, Tigger and the whole gang each January 18th, author A.A. Milne’s birthday. You can find a massive collection of stories from the Hundred Acre Wood on OverDrive to feature, including this audiobook edition of the collection stories read by Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench and many other A-listers.
February 1: Harry Potter Book Night
It’s very likely that your daily checkouts almost always feature The Boy Who Lived but who doesn’t love a Hogwarts party? If you visit this website from Bloomsbury, you’ll find a downloadable event kit and lots of ideas perfect for decking out your library in the various house colors. Readers old and young alike will love getting lost in the magic of J.K. Rowling’s world.
February 3: Take Your Child to the Library day
Here at OverDrive, we naturally love the convenience of being able to borrow books from anywhere, anytime. That said, we also consider physical libraries our home away from home. There is so much goodness going on at libraries daily, and Take Your Child to the Library Day is a great time to see all those wonderful programs available.
March 2: Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’s Birthday)
Oh, The places you’ll go! As the resident Seuss expert, I couldn’t make a list of literary holidays and leave out the good doctor. Schools and libraries near and far celebrate the classic book by Dr. Seuss on this day and frankly, all year. Your library can do the same on your digital collection as we have his full collection of children’s book on OverDrive.
April 9-15: National Library Week
This is a week that’s well known in the library world but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t highlight it! This full week of celebrations feature days specifically for discussing the most frequently challenged books of last year (Monday), National Library Workers (Tuesday), and even Bookmobiles (Wednesday)! We suggest curating a collection of books that include librarians or take place in the library as a fun feature on your collection.
April 30: El Dia de los Ninos (Children’s Book Day)
El Dia de los Ninos kicks off Children’s Book Week and we can think of no better way than highlighting some of the amazing bilingual works of Pat Mora who has won countless awards for her children’s literature. You can hear Pat discuss her work with our Professional Book Nerds podcast right here.
May 4: Star Wars Day
May the fourth be with you! The Star Wars universe continues to expand and capture the imaginations of fans around the world. Curating a collection of these books is a perfect way to connect with Jedis both young and old in your community.
June is LGBTQ+ Book Month and Audiobook Appreciation Month
The full month of June offers the opportunity to shine a light on some incredible LGBTQ+ titles in your collection and it also happens to be Audiobook Appreciation Month. The curation ideas in June are limitless.
June 19: Garfield the Cat Day
Yep, everyone’s favorite lasagna loving cat has his own holiday. Share some of these collections of the comic strip and prevent readers from having a case of the Mondays.
July 18-23: Hemingway Days
Ernest Hemingway loved Key West and every July, you’ll find a week-long party there in his honor. They host readings, book signings, look-alike contests and much more. You may not be able to bring Key West to your library, but you can still feature his books for your users to enjoy.
August 9: Book Lovers day
Technically this is every day for us but still a day worth pointing out.
September 18: Read an eBook Day
Join us in celebrating our favorite day of the year and be sure to check http://readanebookday.com/ frequently for programming announcements and news. September is also Library Card Sign Up Month, but you knew that already…
October 6: Mad Hatter Day
My first true book love was the curiousness of Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland. Given that I was married on 10/6 in a Wonderland Wedding and I have a Mad Hatter’s hat tattoo, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this holiday. Throw a tea party, curate a collection of retellings and indulge in a little nonsense. We may never know why a raven is like a writing desk, but that doesn’t make the riddle any less magical.
October: 9-15 Teen Read Week
Young adult novels are loved by readers in their teens and those well beyond. Spend a week celebrating your favorite heroines, trilogies, love triangles and dystopian worlds. Odds are in your favor that a curated collection of these titles will be checked out quickly.
November: National Novel Writing Month
#NANOWRIMO is the time of year when professional and aspiring authors do their best to write a full novel in one month. It’s become a way for writers to bond and test themselves and it has spawned many bestselling novels including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Feature some of these books in your collection and consider hosting some writing workshops for the future authors of your community.
These are just a few of the great literary holidays we’ll be celebrating. What are some of your favorites?