We celebrate books every day by reading them. But there are special book days, weeks and months for us to celebrate even more.
There is a commemorative day or holiday for almost everything. For some things, like books and reading, there are many commemorative days, weeks and months.
- January book and reading dates
- February book and reading dates
- March book and reading dates
- April book and reading dates
- May book and reading dates
- June book and reading dates
- July book and reading dates
- August book and reading dates
- September book and reading dates
- October book and reading dates
- November book and reading dates
- December book and reading dates
January book and reading dates
January is National Book Blitz Month. The perfect way to start the year is with #BookBlitzMonth. It should not be confused with somewhat less colder October, which is National Book Month.
January 2 is National Science Fiction Day. It is designated by nobody but celebrated by many science fiction fans in the United States. January 2 is the birthday of pioneering science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.
National Poetry at Work Day is on the second Tuesday of January. It is not an official commemorative day, and be forewarned that it might not be supported by all employers. If your poetry is refused, you can always try again on Take Your Poet to Work Day in July.
On January 9, word nerds celebrate National Word Nerd Day. According to the University of Hawaii, “there is no trace of who started it and when.” That is not all that different from a lot of book and reading holidays, as we shall see.
Book Publishers Day on January 16 is another one of those days that nobody claims credit for. But we all make use of book publishers, so we might as well celebrate.
January 18 is National Thesaurus Day, one of my favorites. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their favorite book?
January 27 has been designated by ABC Life Literacy Canada as Family Literacy Day.
Started by the New York Public library in 2014, Library Shelfie Day is held on the fourth Wednesday of January. This is your opportunity to share on Twitter or Instagram selfies taken with your favorite library shelves.
📸 Today, Jan 26, is #LibraryShelfie Day! Show some literary love and snap a photo in front of your favorite bookshelves, at home, or at your local library! #LibraryShelfieDay https://t.co/9FTHCDKgz0 pic.twitter.com/PKiOLKB4Cc
— NY Public Library (@nypl) January 26, 2022
The last Thursday in January (January 25, 2024) is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD). It has been designated by itself.
National Storytelling Week is celebrated across the UK from January 30 to February 5. The focus is on primary schools to breed a culture of books and stories.
February book and reading dates
The African American Read-In (AARI) was established by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). It coincides with Black History Month. And what better way to commemorate this month than to read about Black history and to enjoy the works of Black authors.
February is National Haiku Writing Month, a poetry favorite. And February is the perfect time to write one haiku a day for the month of February! After all, it’s the shortest month, for the world’s shortest form of poetry.
February is also National Library Lovers Month across the USA. It was founded by Friends and Foundations of California Libraries as a way to channel support for libraries.
World Read Aloud Day falls on the first Wednesday in February. This is another celebration mainly for primary school students around the world.
On the first Saturday of February, take your child to the library for Take Your Child to the Library Day. A fitting day to kick off National Library Lovers Month.
Freelance Writer Appreciation Week is on the second week of February. It is one of our favorite weeks. We don’t know whom to thank for it, but to whomever: “Thank you!”
February 9 is the cleanest date on this calendar, as we celebrate National Read In The Bathtub Day. Since I tend to take showers, this is an awkward day for me. I might just read somewhere else.
February 14 is for lovers. So it’s the perfect time for Library Lovers Day. Can there be any more sincere lovers than library lovers? Admit it, you love that scene from The Music Man, too.February 14 is also International Book Giving Day. What a wonderful Valentines Day gift! What better way to spread love around than by giving books? This day is “run” by Emma Perry of My Book Corner in the UK and “brilliantly supported” by Catherine Friess of Story Snug in Germany.
Book lovers just love February 14, because it is also Read to Your Child Day. We have no idea how this one started, but it’s a great celebration just the same.
Because books get dusty after a while, February 20 is Clean Out Your Bookcase Day. Once a year is not asking too much.
February closes with Jewish Book Week. It is London’s longest-running literary festival, going strong since 1952
March book and reading dates
March is National Reading Month. It is not designated but it is widely celebrated in the United States. It commemorates the birthday of Dr. Seuss, which is March 2.
March is also New Zealand Book Month, because New Zealand needs its own book month. Technically, it ran from 2006 through 2015. But we won’t take it off the calendar if you don’t.
If you plan to read an eBook in March, you’ll be participating in Read an eBook month.
You’ll love Small Press Month. It runs through March as well. It was founded in 2006 by the Independent Book Publishers Association, but it really could use an infusion of pick-me-up.
National Ghostwriters Week runs from March 1 to 7. We have no idea where it comes from. But it’s a thing, and we ghostwriters love it. Like so many “national” commemorations, nobody specifies which nation, so you are free to celebrate wherever you ghostwrite.
The first full week of March is also the librarian’s favorite holiday: Return Borrowed Books Week. Of course, you can return any book you’ve borrowed, not just library books.World Book Day is March 2. It was designated by UNESCO in 1995. It was superseded by World Book and Copyright Day on April 23, but it seems to have taken a life of its own, still being celebrated in over 100 countries (including the US, the UK and Canada).
Coincidentally, National Read Across America Day in also on March 2. It is designated by the National Education Association (NEA), and kicks off Read Across America Week. In this case it should be obvious which country the “national” refers to.
National Grammar Day follows on March 4. It was designated by the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (a.k.a. Martha Brockenbrough). She established it in 2008, and convinced President George W. Bush to officially recognize it.
Read an E-Book Week was founded from March 7 to 13 by Rita Toews from her global headquarters in a spare bedroom in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her cat Lola is her trusty sidekick; as she rightly remarks, “Every author needs a cat.”
March 8 is National Proofreading Day, founded by Judy Beaver. She created National Proofreading Day in honor of her mother, Flo, who loved to correct people. You just can’t make this stuff up.
On March 14, we write our stories. It’s National Write Your Story Day. What nation? Nobody knows, so surely it’s yours.
March 19 is International Read to Me Day. It is supported by The Child Writes Fund, and of course, it is all about encouraging kids to read.The third week of March is World Folktales and Fables Week. It’s a great time to brush up on those foundational stories on which so many other stories are built.
The third week of March is also Shakespeare Week. It is organized by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and celebrated by school children across the UK.
On March 20, we celebrate World Storytelling Day. It began in 2001 in Sweden, and it’s now a global phenomenon.
March 21 is designated by UNESCO as World Poetry Day.
April book and reading dates
April is National Poetry Month. It is designated by the Academy of American Poets since 1966 in the United States and by the League of Canadian Poets since 1998 in Canada. So, we get two for the price of one.
April is also National School Library Month.
In the Philippines, April is National Literary Month (NLM). It is designated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
On April 1, we celebrate Poetry & The Creative Mind Day, which exists according to some people. April 1 is also April Fools Day, but we’ll include it in this list anyway.
Perhaps the ultimate April Fools Day event for book lovers is Edible Book Day, a.k.a. National Edible Book Festival. It founded by Judith A. Hoffberg and artist Béatrice Coron in 2000. They wanted to celebrate the birthday of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of Physiologie du goût. People around the world create edible books. They take photos, then they eat them.April 2 is International Children’s Book Day (ICBD). We celebrate it on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. The day is sponsored by The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) since 1967
On April 4, we honor school librarians with National School Librarian Day.
National Encourage a Young Writer Day is on April 10. Because that’s how old writers get their start.
D.E.A.R. Day is April 12. It stands for Drop Everything and Read Day, and is sponsored by a whole flock of organizations.
April 14 is National Donate a Book Day.
BC Book Day is celebrated in British Columbia, Canada on April 17. It is sponsored by the Association of Book Publishers of BC since 2015.
April 23 to 29 is National Library Week in the USA. It is designated by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1958.
April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day, on the way he is believed to have been born. It should not be confused with Talk Like a Pirate Day in September.
World Book and Copyright Day is also on April 23, so designated by UNESCO. In most countries, such as India, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Sweden, it is simply known as World Book Day. In Canada, it is celebrated as Canada Book Day.
The week that includes April 23, is also Canada Book Week.
The World Book Capital Network (WBCN) runs from one World Book and Copyright Day to the next. It “acknowledges the power of books and reading as cornerstones to more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable societies.” The WBCN began in 2001 in Madrid, and its Network Charter was signed in September 2022.
There are 15 World Book Capital Network cities:
- Accra, Ghana
- Antwerp, Belgium
- Athens, Greece
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Incheon, South Korea
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Madrid, Spain
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Strasbourg, France
- Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- Tbilisi, Georgia
- Turin, Italy
- Wrocław, Poland
April 26 is National Bookmobile Day. Before mobile phones and Kindles, this is what mobile reading was all about.
April 28 brings us Great Poetry Reading Day. It is sponsored by nobody. But if you love poetry, who cares?
We celebrate Independent Bookstore Day (IBD) the United States on the last Saturday of April. Meanwhile, Canadians celebrate Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.
April 30 to May 6 is designated Canadian Children’s Book Week by the The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC).
May book and reading dates
May is Latino Books Month. It is not designated by anybody, but a lot of people celebrate it in the United States.
May is also Mystery Month. A search across the Internet shows that some people think it’s in October, April or some other month, so we’re parking it here in hopes that a consensus one day will be reached.
And May is Get Caught Reading Month, sponsored by Every Child a Reader.
National Share-a-Story Month is celebrated every May in the UK.May 1 to 7 and November 6 to 12 are both Children’s Book Week. Huh? It is held on the first full week of May, from Monday through Saturday), designated by Every Child a Reader.
National Limerick Day does not seem to have a sponsor, but people love it just the same. The date of May 12 was chosen to celebrate the birthday of Edward Lear, who is credited with inventing limericks.
Biographer’s Day is another that is not designated by anyone, but commemorates the historical date of May 16. That is when Samuel Johnson and James Boswell met in 1763 Davies’s London bookshop. Johnson had written the Dictionary of the English Language. Boswell eventually wrote what some people suggest might be the greatest biography ever written: The Life of Samuel Johnson.
June book and reading dates
Audiobook Appreciation Month is held each June. It is designated by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). Audiobooks are a small but important market for book lovers.
Rainbow Book Month is held each June, designated by the American Library Association (ALA). It is a “celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, and asexual community.”On a more serious note, June is also National Bathroom Reading Month. This commemoration was designated by the Bathroom Readers’ Institute (BRI). OK, so it’s a marketing gimmick. But, as a reader of some of the BRI’s readers (yes, in the bathroom), I’ll gladly celebrate the month.
June 19 is National Reading Day in India. The date commemorates the first Library in Kerala, established by P.N. Panicker or Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker. This marked kicked off the literacy movement and the library movement in India.
July book and reading dates
Take Your Poet to Work Day happens on the third Wednesday of July, but it does not appear to be designated by anybody. It is a lot like National Poetry at Work Day in January, except that this one is BYOP (bring your own poet). This saves you from having to stand up and DIY recite poetry at the office, on the construction site or in the operating room. Once again, be advised that this day might not be supported by all employers.
On July 30, we celebrate Paperback Book Day, another freeform day with no sponsor. It marks the date in 1935 that the first Penguin paperbacks were published.
August book and reading datesAugust 9 is Book Lovers Day! Nobody sponsors it, it’s not official, but some book lovers celebrate it nonetheless.
Bad Poetry Day on August 18 is designated by nobody for a very good reason. Can there be such thing as bad poetry? Vogons, this is your day to shine!
From August 19 to 25, Australians celebrate Children’s Book Week. The Children’s Book Council of Australia designated the day in 1945.
September book and reading dates
September is National Literacy Month, surprisingly not designated by anybody in particular. It’s just a time to help people learn to read.
September is also Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month It was designated by a now-defunct small press in Texas called Britton Knowles Publishers Inc. But the month lives on because editors need kindness from writers, and writers need kindness from everybody else.
National Read A Book Day falls on September 6. It is designated by…? Nobody seems to take credit for it, but every commemorative calendar seems to include it. A conspiracy? Perhaps…but a wonderful conspiracy if it is one. As to which nation, that is just as big a mystery.
International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 6 is another UNESO-sponsored commemoration, this one since 1967.
On September 18 we celebrate Read an eBook Day. It is not designated officially, but it does have its own website.
September 24 was designated Punctuation Day by Jeff Rubin in 2004. What a great PR stunt for his newsletter writing business.
October book and reading dates
Welcome to October, National Book Month. Don’t make the mistake some people make, and confuse it with National Book Blitz Month
October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month, which is such a mouthful that it needs its own month. It was proclaimed by US President Barak Obama in 2009.
October is also National Library Month in Canada (or Canadian Library Month, as it is still known to some), these days sponsored by the Ontario Library Association (OLA). It began as National Library Week in 1958, until the week was converted into a month in 2006.
October also brings us Black Speculative Fiction Month. It is not designated by anybody, but it is celebrated by many.
And October is National Cookbook Month, which is not designated or sponsored by anybody, but seems to be celebrated even by some libraries. If you like food and books, October is the perfect month for you.
From October 1 to 7, we “celebrate” Banned Books Week. This commemoration is co-sponsored by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, among others. It promotes freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and of course, freedom to write those thoughts.
The first full week in October is Mystery Series Week. This holiday was founded by Purple Moon Press to honor fictional crime solvers who always come to the rescue and solve the case.
On the first Wednesday of October, it’s Random Acts of Poetry Day. It is sponsored by nobody, but has been around since 2015, when nobody decided to launch the celebration. It’s great preparation for…
…National Poetry Day on the first Thursday of October. This day is designated by the Forward Arts Foundation and celebrated across the United Kingdom.
Book Day is celebrated in Spain on October 7, the date that Miguel de Cervantes was believed to have been born.
On October 8, Australians celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day. It is sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association.
World Novel Week is another holiday designated by UNESCO in 2021, and celebrated on the week of October 13.
If it’s October 15, it’s time for the National Book Awards, sponsored by the National Book Foundation.
October 16 is National Dictionary Day is not designated, but it does honor Noah Webster, the father of the American Dictionary, on his birthday.
Black Poetry Day is celebrated on October 17 across the United States. The date is chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jupiter Hammon, the first Black published author in the USA.
National Day on Writing is also known as National Journalism Day for some reason. It is help on October 20, and designated by National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in the United States. It should not be confused with National Writing Day on June 23 in the UK.
November book and reading dates
November is National Memoir Writing Month This is an obscure commemoration, perhaps because people don’t tend to write more than one memoir in a lifetime. Nobody seems to have designated it, so it might be one of those mysterious creations of the Internet.
In the Philippines, November is Library and Information Services Month. It was proclaimed in 1991 by President Aquino.
It is also Philippine Book Development Month in November, although it seems to have been in April in the past, and the original proclamation designates June as Philippine Book Development Month.
November is also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This is probably the most celebrated month among writers. It is designated by NaNoWriMo and seems to rope in thousands of writers to cheer each other on to start and complete a novel during the month.
And November is National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). It was founded by Nina Amir because, in her words, “a year after I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I asked myself, ‘What’s a nonfiction writer supposed to do during November?'”
Welcome also to National Family Literacy Month. It was designated by the US Congress in 1994, as the result of advocacy by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL).November 1 is National Author’s Day. It was designated in 1928 by Nellie Verne Burt McPherson. Now you know.
November 2 is I Read Canadian Day. You don’t have to be Canadian to celebrate, because Canadian books are available all over the world!
November 6 to 12 and May 1 to 7 are both Children’s Book Week. As I said earlier, “Huh?”
National Book Awards Week runs from November 7 to 14, and is designated by the National Book Foundation. The highlight of the week is, not surprisingly, the National Book Awards.
November 14 to 20 is National Book Week Scotland. It is designated by the Scottish Book Trust.
November 15 is I Love to Write Day. It was founded in 2002 by John Riddle. This Delaware author, ghostwriter and donut eater clearly loved to write (and eat donuts!).
November 24 to 23 is National Book Week in the Philippines, sponsored by the Philippine Librarians Association (PLAI).
The last week of November is National Book Week in the Philippines.
December book and reading dates
December is Read a New Book Month Nobody knows who started this one. In fact, there is some debate over whether Read a New Book Month is December of September. Just to be on the safe side, why not read a new book in both months?
December is also Spiritual Literacy Month, founded in 1996 by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.