Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."

— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you live in the UK (which I don't) today is World Book Day. If you live in Spain (which I do) it falls on April 23rd - so chosen some 85 years ago by Catalonian book lovers to honour the love of reading on the day Miguel Cervantes died. And since April 23rd is also the date that Vladimir Nabokov was born, that Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died and that William Shakespeare was born and died (and undoubtedly countless others), UNESCO threw in its weight and dubbed it World Book and Copyright Day, or alternately International Day of the Book or, if you prefer, World Book Day.

But because I live about 500 metres away from the UK and the fact the tip of Gib wasn't obscured by clouds this morning - an excellent omen - I am going to get a head start on the April festivities and give the UK World Book Day a nod. By way of thanks.

Emilie Buchwald was correct in saying that "children are made readers on the laps of their parents," so on this day I'd like to thank you Mom and Dad. Thanks a million. But I'd also like to thank you Dr. Seuss. And thank you Oscar Wilde. Thank you Roald Dahl. Thank you Sir Walter Scott. Thank you Kenneth Grahame. Thank you Beatrix Potter. Thank you Rudyard Kipling. Thank you Lucy Maud Montgomery. Thank you Brothers Grimm. Thank you Charles Perrault. Thank you Robert Louis Stevenson. Thank you Laura Ingalls Wilder. Thank you Louisa May Alcott. Thank you J. M.Barrie. Thank you L. Frank Baum. Thank you Lewis Carroll. Thank you Arthur Conan Doyle. Thank you Margery Williams. Thank you Carolyn Keene (who never existed) ...

(I used to practise my acceptance speech for my Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in front of the mirror when I was a teenager).

... and thank you to everyone I'm forgetting. Since I can't hug any of you, I'll go hug a book. Do the same.


Anne said...

And thank YOU for all the books that you were unable to take overseas with you that now adorn my bookshelves!

La Gatita Gringa said...

My babies ....

Anne said...

Don't worry, they're being well taken care of!

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