August 9 is National Book Lovers Day. I don’t know who made up this holiday (it can’t have been Hallmark because there is no rack of cards), but any day I can celebrate books is a good day.
In the past several years, the book-lover game has been strong on social media. It’s easier than ever for those who love reading to find their people — those who know the joys of staying in on a Friday night, wrapped up in a blanket, reading a good book. Whether it’s through podcasts or the Book Tube, on sites like Goodreads or places like Twitter and Instagram, if you want books, you can find books. You can find book reviews and videos that are book trailers. You can find movies made from books (spoiler alert: the movie is almost never as good). You can find bookish podcasts, pictures of books, and memes that describe the reading life.
So in honor of National Book Lovers Day, here are a few ways you can celebrate today (and every day, really).
Ways to Celebrate National Book Lovers Day
1. Listen to a Bookish Podcast
There are a number of really smart, fun book-related podcasts out there.
Overdue is probably my favorite. Each week the hosts, Craig and Andrew, take turns reading a book and then telling the other one about it. Their bro-mance dynamic makes it so much fun to listen to.
Literary Disco is another entertaining podcast full of smart people having great conversations. Hosted by essayist Julia Pistell, author Tod Goldberg, and actor/producer Rider Strong, the podcast is basically what would happen if you got together with 3 of your smartest grad school friends to talk about books you’re reading in your lit classes.
Book Riot is a media group that publishes a lot of current book news and reviews, as well as articles on the reading life and experience. If you’re interested in the world of publishing and you love data and stats, you’ll like this one. Hosts Jeff O’Neal and Rebecca Schinsky talk books on a weekly basis and your TBR (to-be-read, for all you book nerds in training) list will be a mile long after you hear about the books they’re recommending. Plus you’ll always have smart book club suggestions.
2. Hang out at a bookstore (or at least look at pictures of them and imagine how great all of that paper and ink and probably coffee smell when they mix together).
Independent bookstores are great if you have one nearby — they curate their collection and so there are fewer options, but the people working in the store have probably read the books they do have and can vouch for how great they are. Don’t get me wrong — I’m definitely not opposed to a stroll through Barnes & Noble either.
Maybe you live near one of these legendary bookstores, so what better time to pay it a visit?
The Strand (New York, New York)
Powell’s City of Books (Portland, Oregon)
Shakespeare & Company (Paris, France) — Okay, so this one isn’t national, but it’s great if you’re an ex-pat a la Hemingway. If you can’t get there, at least check out Shakespeare & Co. in New York City.
If you need to go the “just look at pictures of them” route:
Today we're celebrating #NationalBookLoversDay. A long time ago, Cicero said that "a room without books is like a body without a soul" and we couldn't agree more with the sentiment. If you love the smell of ink & paper as much as we do, you'll love host Jill's book filled home in Georgia. Click the link in our bio to see more of this charming home. #LiveThere
3. Build (or visit) a Little Free Library
Little Free Libraries started popping up in the past few years, and they’re wonderful. They’re small boxes built and placed in community spaces so that passers-by can take a book and leave a book, allowing everyone to share a love of reading. To find out if there’s a registered LFL near you, visit here.
4. Enjoy Book Memes
5. Debate the merits of e-readers versus actual books with someone. KIDDING. Just read a book!
There are so many books. Whether you’re a fan of mainstream fiction or the classics; whether you like audiobooks or picture books or poetry; whether you like reading about sports or history or famous people’s memoirs, there is a book out there with your name on it. Not sure where to find it? Check on Goodreads. Or Scribd. Or Audible. Or BookBub. Or What Should I Read Next? Or … you get the picture.
Bonus: Wear This
It’s a great conversation piece. Trust me. Available from The Strand. (Also available as an adult tee, toddler tee, onesie, button, and magnet. Also not a paid ad. I just think they’re hilarious.)
Happy National Book Lovers Day!