Today marks the 23rd World Book Day, a nationwide incentive to encourage children and young adults to get reading.
You may have seen lots of posts online of some fantastic costumes to mark the day and kudos to any parents who stayed up late last night to make up a costume for their little one.
Every year World Book Day celebrates not only reading, but also the authors and illustrators behind the magic of some of our favourite books. The campaign gives out millions of tokens and every child in our constituency will receive a £1 voucher that they can take to a bookshop or supermarket to get their free World Book Day book (or £1 off any full price book that takes their fancy).
Recent evidence has shown that reading for fun is heavily in decline, despite the facts that reading can significantly boost your mood and mental wellbeing. Spending just 10 minutes a day reading and sharing stories can make a huge difference and this is why the charity’s focus this year is “share a story”.
Reading provides so many benefits, from generally improving knowledge and vocabulary to helping you sleep better and improving your mental wellbeing. I first fell in love with reading when I read the Harry Potter series when I was younger. Escaping to a world where you could do almost anything like flying on a broomstick, or casting a spell to unlock a secret door. We’ve all been there.
Today I celebrated World Book Day in Parliament and, if I was allowed to dress up today, you would have seen me sporting a Luna Lovegood costume in the chamber!
Sadly, I don’t think Mr Speaker would allow such an outfit in the chamber, so I’ve stuck to my suit. But hey, there is always next year!
If you can this evening, I am encouraging all parents, carers and grandparents to take 10 minutes at bed time to sit down with their children and share a story. I might even read Carter a little story!