Celebrate World Book Day with forward2me’s Reading Challenge

Updated: 21/04/2023
HomeBlog Celebrate World Book Day with forward2me’s Reading Challenge

At forward2me, we know that books hold a special place in people's hearts. Whether it's a classic novel, a self-help guide, or a cookbook, books have the power to educate, entertain, and inspire. That's why we're always happy to process book orders and be the reason why people get to enjoy their favorite titles, no matter where they live in the world.

So for this year’s World Book Day, we’re celebrating the power of books and the joy of reading with our Reading Challenge that will help you discover new genres and authors and broaden your literary horizons. 

Read on to find out more about the origins of World Book Day, ideas how to celebrate it, and some interesting facts that shed light on what and how people around the world have been reading. 

Spoiler: online book sales are at an all-time high. If shipping restrictions are stopping you from getting a unique edition, count on us for a swift delivery from the leading bookstores in the UK, Germany, and Japan with the option to combine multiple packages or return to sender for free

What Is World Book Day?

World Book Day, also known as International Day of the Book is observed every year on April 23 to celebrate the love of reading and promote publishing and copyright around the world. It was established by UNESCO in 1995 as a way to celebrate books and authors, and to encourage people, especially children and young adults, to read more. 

    The date 23 April was chosen as it is the date on which several prominent authors were born and William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. 

The main focus of World Book Day is to provide access to books and promote literacy. In many countries, schools and libraries organize special events and activities, such as book readings, storytelling sessions, book fairs, and book giveaways. The day is also marked by the distribution of millions of book vouchers to children, which can be exchanged for a free book in participating bookshops.

In addition to promoting reading and literacy, World Book Day also aims to celebrate cultural diversity and encourage the translation and publication of books in different languages. The day is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world and is a significant event in the literary calendar. 

In the UK and Ireland, World Book Day is observed on the first Thursday of March. The date was changed in 1998 due to conflict with St. George’s celebrations and Easter and spring school holidays. 

How Is World Book Day Celebrated?

World Book Day is celebrated in many different ways around the world, with events and activities organized by schools, libraries, bookstores, and other organizations. Here are some examples of how the day is celebrated:

  • Book vouchers: In many countries, including the UK and Ireland, children are given book vouchers that they can use to buy a free book or receive a discount on a book purchase.
  • Dress-up: Many schools and libraries encourage children and teachers to dress up as their favorite book characters on World Book Day.
  • Reading challenges: Some schools organize reading challenges, where students are encouraged to read as many books as possible in a set amount of time.
  • Book fairs: Book fairs are a popular way to celebrate World Book Day, with many schools and libraries organizing events where students can browse and purchase books.
  • Author visits: Some schools and libraries invite authors to speak to students about their books and the writing process.
  • Storytelling sessions: Storytelling sessions are a fun way to celebrate World Book Day, with librarians, teachers, and volunteers reading stories to children.
  • Book clubs: Book clubs can be a great way to encourage reading and discussion around books, with groups of people coming together to read and talk about a particular book.

How to Start Your Reading Challenge 

If your goal is to start reading more, explore different genres, and discover new authors and styles of writing, World Book Day is a great starting point for your next reading challenge. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Choose your reading goal: Decide how many books you want to read, or how many pages you want to read each day, week, or month. Make sure your goal is challenging but realistic.
  • Choose your reading list: Create a list of books you want to read during the challenge. You can choose a specific genre, author, or theme, or just pick books that you've been meaning to read for a while.
  • Create a timeline: Decide how long your reading challenge will last, and set deadlines for when you want to finish each book. Make a schedule that works for you and your reading pace.
  • Track your progress: Keep track of how many books you've read, or how many pages you've read each day, week, or month. You can use a reading journal, a spreadsheet, or an app to keep track of your progress.
  • Get others involved: Share your reading challenge with friends and family, and invite them to join you. You can create a reading club, start a book club, or just share your progress on social media to inspire others.

Try forward2me’s Reading Challenge

If you’d like to make things even more random and fun, download forward2me’s reading challenge to help you diversify your reading list and find some great books you may normally not have picked up. It has 52 challenges for you so you can make it about reading a book a week or just use it as a starting point for your next great read. 

You can customize your reading challenge to your own preferences and interests, and make it as easy or challenging as you like. There are no rules and no order; you can start from prompt 33 or you can even ask a friend or a fellow book club member to pick the next prompt for you to make it even more random. Remember to make your reading challenge fun and enjoyable, and to celebrate your progress along the way. 

What and How Are People Reading? 

What are the most popular books in the world? Who reads more: men or women? Where do people find their reads and do they prefer good old paperbacks or modern eReaders? There’s hardly a better time than World Book Day to discuss some world book reading statistics and interesting facts.

  • Fiction is the most popular book genre: According to a survey by THGM Writers, the most popular genre among readers worldwide is history, followed by mystery, biography, and fantasy. 
  • Women read more than men: According to the same THGM Writers survey, women are more likely than men to have read a book in the past 12 months, confirming previous studies that have shown that men read fewer books and less often. Women account for nearly 80 percent of fiction sales in the US, UK, and Canada.
  • Young adults read the most: Studies have shown that younger adults, particularly those between 18 to 29 years old, tend to read more books than older age groups, with an average of 12 books per year. 
  • Ebooks are growing in popularity: A study by the Book Industry Study Group found that ebooks now account for about 20% of all book sales in the United States.
  • Audiobooks are also growing in popularity: According to a survey by the Audio Publishers Association, audiobook sales grew by 12% in 2020, with a total of 71.5 million units sold.
  • Harry Potter is one of the most popular book series of all time: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 80 languages.

How #BookTok Is Affecting Book Sales

BookTok is a growing community on the social media platform TikTok that focuses on books and book-related content. The platform has become a significant influence on book sales, particularly for young adult and diverse books. BookTok has had a significant impact on book sales, particularly for young adult and diverse books. It has become a valuable tool for promoting books and authors, and has helped to shape the conversation around books on social media. 

It has become so popular that leading online book retailers now have dedicated “BookTok Recommended” sections where readers can look up titles they’ve seen discussed on the app. Here are some ways BookTok has influenced book sales: 

Book recommendations: Many BookTok creators make videos recommending books they love, often with creative and engaging visuals. These videos can go viral, and the books they recommend can experience a significant boost in sales.
Diverse representation: BookTok has also become a platform for promoting diverse books, particularly those by authors from underrepresented communities. This has led to increased visibility for these books and has helped to diversify the publishing industry.
Backlist titles: BookTok has also contributed to the popularity of backlist titles, or older books that may have been overlooked or forgotten. Creators often recommend older books they have discovered or rediscovered, leading to renewed interest and sales.
Word-of-mouth marketing: BookTok has become a powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing, with viewers trusting the recommendations of creators they follow and engaging with their content.

Do people prefer paper or digital books?

The preference for paper or digital books varies from person to person and depends on various factors such as personal preference, convenience, and accessibility. Here are some statistics on the preference for paper or digital books:

  • Paper books are still popular: A new study by Stora Enso has found that 65% of people around the world prefer reading physical books, compared to 21% who prefer ebooks; that’s over three times the number of people.  This is confirmed by the data from THGM Writers’ survey that showed that 57% of participants read paper (print books) most; of them 41% prefer paperback and 16% go for hardcover. 32% of readers chose ebooks; 20% use Kindle and 12% other ebooks. Another 8% listened to audio books and 3% chose “other” (which might include comic books, brail or some other format). 
  • Younger generations are more likely to read digital books: According to a Pew Research Center survey, younger adults (ages 18-29) are more likely than older adults to have read an ebook in the past year (37% vs. 20%).
  • Print books are preferred for certain genres: According to a survey by Publishing Technology, 69% of respondents preferred print books for cookbooks, and 75% preferred print books for children's books.
  • Print books are also preferred for sustainability: According to the Stora Enso survey, sustainability is one of the other major advantages of print books, with 42% of readers saying they like to keep books when they finish reading them, while 26% loan or donate them. 26% sell their books and the 5% recycle them.

People Are Buying Books Online More than Ever

Online sales of books soared in 2020 and the trend towards buying books online has since been steady as online book retailers expand their offerings and reach. Online book sales have become the dominant source of income for the publishing industry in the United States. 

Lockdowns during the pandemic just speeded up this process, but even before the Covid outbreak, online book sales accounted for more than 50% of the publishing industry’s revenue in the US.  Today, most people still prefer to buy books online as it can be a convenient, affordable, and enjoyable way to discover and purchase. 

  • Price comparison: Shopping for books online allows you to easily compare prices from multiple retailers, so you can find the best deal on the book you want.
  • Availability: Online retailers often have a larger selection of books than physical stores, and they may have hard-to-find titles that are not available in your local bookstore.
  • Reviews and recommendations: Online bookstores often include reviews and recommendations from other readers, which can help you make an informed decision about what to buy.
  • Delivery options: Many online bookstores offer free or low-cost shipping, and some also offer expedited delivery options if you need the book quickly.

With parcel forwarding, book lovers can expand their reading options and access a wider range of books from around the world. Here are some of our recommended book retailers from the UK, Germany, and Japan: 

Our parcel forwarding services allow people to shop for books from international online retailers and have them shipped to their doorstep at the best rates guaranteed. So if you're looking for hard-to-find titles or editions that may not be available in your local bookstores, a forwarding address will help you find rare titles or just shop more sustainably. 

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