World Book Day 2014

March 6th is World Book Day. A day when the world celebrates the joy of reading. Each of the 100 participating countries has its own way of joining in the festivities, though I'm sure there are many similarities. In the UK, children attend school dressed as characters from their favourite books and take part in special activities. They are also given a golden book token, which entitles them to choose a free book from the desginated books for that year. It always makes me happy to see them selecting their book, and I hope that perhaps that book will be the one they fall in love with, igniting a life-long passion for reading.

In celebration of World Book Day, I thought I'd share a few fact and figures pertaining to the world of books:

  1. The word 'book' comes from the Danish word for book, bog. Early Danes wrote on the bark from Birch trees, as opposed to the Romans who wrote on the thin layer between the bark and wood known as 'liber'.
  2. In 2010, Google Books calculated the total number of books ever written as 129,864,880 (Geek.com). It would take you 350,000 years to get through the TBR pile.
  3. According to UNESCO there have been 423,362 books published this year. In 2011, the comparable figure was 171,849.
  4. It it likely the question 'what is the oldest book in the world?' may never be answered. If you define it as being in printed form, some believe the Gutenberg Bible, printed in 1450, is the oldest.
  5. The largest bookstore in the world is the World's Largest Bookstore in Toronto, Cananda. The Three storey building covers 64,000 square feet and has over 20 kilometres of shelving. Sadly, the store was recently sold and will soon close. Four resturants will replace it.
  6. 2014 is the 17th World Book Day.

I'm not sure about you, but I feel sad that the world's largest bookstore is closing. I could have spent a few days in there!

Are you doing anything to celebrate World Book Day? Do you know any unusual book facts you'd like to share with us?


  1. It's such a shame that the largest bookstore is closing. Are four more restaurants really needed to replace it I wonder ...

  2. Interesting post. I've been in that huge bookstore several times. It's easy to get lost and wonderfully so! I think maybe I'll take my son to the library on World Book Day. It's one of our favorite places to go. :)

  3. Neat that they dress up to celebrate the day. We should have more holidays that celebrate stories.

  4. HeHe, 129,864,880 seems low.

    It's such a shame the world's largest book store is closing. I like nothing better than browsing the aisles of book store. Shopping online isn't the same.

    Had I been a child who got to pick a free book, that I actually got to own, I would have been in heaven!

  5. I am a major book lover and had no idea World Book Day was this week- shame on me! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Every day is book day in my world - but I loved learning that there is a World Book Day.
    Restaurant or book store? A no brainer for me, and I am sad that the largest book store is closing. And would love to be at the closing down sale. With a truck.

  7. Wow, I wasn't aware it was World Book Day until I read your wonderful post, Ellie!
    What do I do to keep books alive? Well, I teach college lit, including authors like Chaucer, Aristophanes, and Christopher Marlowe. And some modern-ish authors too: DeLillo, Vonnegut, Kafka, Oscar Wilde. I'd like to think I'm turning young adults on to the fabulous literary cannon.

  8. Aww! That's so sad about the World's Largest Bookstore closing. I always wanted to visit it. :(

    And I think I need to read faster.

  9. Oh, that is so sad about the bookstore. I feel like I should make a trip there before it shutters its doors for good.

  10. Oh I hate to read that the largest bookstore is closing. :(

    I honestly hadn't heard of World Book Day before you posted about it, I feel ashamed that I never knew about it! Glad to know now.

  11. How sad that the bookstore is closing and that it will be replaced by restaurants. :( Too bad they couldn't have made the bookstore smaller and only sold off part of the space.

    I love the idea of dressing up for World Book Day. I didn't know about it on the day, but I did spend part of my day shopping and buying books at an independent bookstore and I talked books with 3 people. :)

  12. Sad to hear about that largest book store being closed. We are partly to blame as we turn to the net to read something. Kindle and note pad and what not. Ah the joy of turning a crisp page to see what is in store.......


What's happening in your dimension?