It’s April 23rd 2018, which can mean only one thing: tonight is World Book Night.
A quick dredge through the silt of social media thankfully confirms that World Book Night does not generate the kind of pretend outrage that characterises other such ceremonial occasions.
Like International Women’s Day, for example, which this year saw the stupidest 10% of male humans Tweet: “Disgraceful. World’s gone mad. When’s International Men’s day then!? #feminazis.”
To which the reply, in Twitter unison, was: “19th November…have you any plans?”
In addition to the keyboard warriors, fears that a well organised grass roots movement of Kindle-istas might sabotage things are as yet unfounded.
I, myself, shall be settling down for World Book Night in my traditional manner. After yet another exhausting day of working for a living and parenting two boys under the age of eight* I shall stagger upstairs to bed around 10pm.
My wife and I will joke about having sex (haha…why, who’s birthday is it? etc. etc.).
I will then open my book, go back a page to remind myself where I’m up to, skim back to the beginning to pick up the names of the key characters again, read the same six lines I read last night, five times, almost nodding off, before plonking my book on the bedside table, plumping my pillows, and lying awake for an hour worrying about plastic in the ocean.
In our house, you see, every night is World Book Night.
In 2018 I confidently expect to read perhaps as many as one book to completion in the calendar year.
While simultaneously scrolling the equivalent number of characters on Twitter to have read the whole of Wikipedia twice.
*Contractual requirement: Obviously I’m humbled by the chance to raise two healthy kids and my physical and mental disintegration is a small price to pay. I wouldn’t have it any other way.