Celebrated around the world on March 25th, Tolkien Reading Day is a favorite among fans of the renowned author.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892 – Sept. 2, 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor. He was best known as the author of the classic works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarrillion as well as Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham. However, he has published more than 30 books, several posthumously. The author has sold more than 150 million copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and that number continues to grow.
The day encourages readers of all ages to explore the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and learn more about the author. With over 30 published works, he had a lot to say and not just about hobbits, though many are on medieval order.
HOW TO OBSERVE #TolkienReadingDay
Can you doodle like Tolkien? Check out the video below. He was an avid crossword puzzler, too. While reading Tolkien’s amazing adventures, learn more about the master. Take out your markers and pens. Draw up the creatures or doodle an amazing realm from your imagination. What will you create?
Here are other ways to participate from home:
- Create your own map of Middle Earth.
- Download and print this Tolkien word search puzzle. Can you find all the Middle Earth words?
- As you’re reading one of Tolkien’s books, make a list of all the new words you encounter.
Read some of Tolkien’s works and use #TolkienReadingDay to post on social media. For Lord of the Rings books and movies click here.
TOLKIEN READING DAY HISTORY
The Tolkien Society created this observance in 2003 to encourage the readings of J.R.R. Tolkien. They chose the date of March 25th because it matches the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
National Time Refund Day celebrates that one day every four years, February 29th, when we get back something notoriously hard to reclaim: time.
While the observance may have come to be as a way of correcting the cosmos for our calendars, since we get the time back, we may as well make meaningful use of it. In fact, setting something aside in the hopes we can someday reclaim it is an idea that resonates well with Americans.
Another less glamorous day inspired this time giving day: Tax Day. But both operate on the same simple principle, whereby we put something aside, sometimes begrudgingly, but reclaim it in one glorious day. That one glorious day every four years where we get our time back is Time Refund Day.
HOW TO OBSERVE #TimeRefundDay
Time Refund Day is all about reclaiming our time. That means you can celebrate it by doing the things you enjoy most! Spend time with family, volunteer, start a new book, go outside, or work on something you may procrastinate on other days of the year, like doing your taxes or bathing your dog.
But whatever you do, remember that it’s all about making the best use of that refund. We can’t create more time, but we’re fortunate to get some back. Use it wisely, and be sure to use #TimeRefundDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL TIME REFUND DAY HISTORY
H&R Block founded National Time Refund Day to encourage people to make the best of their time refund on Leap Day.
According to a survey from H&R Block, Americans crave more free time with 70% of respondents saying they would spend money if that could buy them more time.
H&R Block’s virtual tax product, Tax Pro Go, saves Americans valuable time by providing expert tax prep without the office visit. Instead of doing their taxes, taxpayers can spend that time doing something they enjoy while an H&R Block tax expert trained to handle their unique situation does the rest. It’s like a time refund.
On February 26, have a happily ever after kind of day. It’s National Tell A Fairy Tale Day!
What were once oral histories, myths, and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, have been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.
The origins of most fairy tales were unseemly and would not be approved or rated as appropriate for children by the Association of Fairy Tales by today’s standards. Most were told as a way to make children behave, teach a lesson or to pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.
Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is inspired by the real life of Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines.
Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and she had a stepmother who sent her away. She fell in love with a prince but mysteriously died before she could have her happily ever after.
As the stories evolved, they took on a more magical quality with fictional characters such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes, and sometimes gruesome story plots.
Toes cut off to fit into a slipper, a wooden boy killing his cricket or instead of kissing that frog prince his head must be cut off, but those are the unrated versions.
The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well-known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhelm together set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral storytelling was fading.
In 1812, they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales. Their stories had a darker quality and were clearly meant for an adult audience.
Rumpelstiltskin is one of the tales they collected. There were several versions, and the little man went by many names in different parts of Europe. From Trit-a-trot in Ireland to Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland, Rumplestiltskin was one difficult man to identify.
While some storytellers have a long and sometimes ancient history such as Aesop (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), others are more recent like the Grimm brothers.
Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1829, brought to us written versions of the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.
HOW TO OBSERVE
How to Tell a Great Story:
Engage your audience. Children like to participate. Have them quack every time the Ugly Duckling is mentioned, or make the motions of climbing Jack’s beanstalk.
Use repetition. Repeated stanzas, syllables or movements will keep the kids engaged. It not only helps them to remember the story but sets them up for the next round of the repeated phrase or stanza.
Give your characters a voice. Nobody likes a monotone storyteller. Buehler, Buehler, Buehler. No, not even children like the monotone. Varying your voice for each character and inflecting excitement, sadness and disappointment will create drama and stimulate the imaginations of the little minds listening to you.
Ask questions as you go. It’s an excellent way to keep your story flowing and to gauge the children’s listening skills.
Find out if someone has a story of their own. You might be in the presence of a great storyteller!
Share your favorite fairy tale with friends and family. Try relating them from memory as this has long been a tradition. Visit a library or local bookstore for story time.
Use #TellAFairyTaleDay to post on social media.
Devoted to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children and providing access to books for children in need, Book Giving Day calls on volunteers to share their favourite book with a young reader. Although the holiday originated in the UK, book lovers around the world now join in the celebrations every year.
Book Giving Day has few organised events. Instead, individual volunteers are encouraged to give a favourite book or books to children. This can take many forms; some people give books as gifts to their own children or to those of friends. Others donate books to children’s libraries, schools or charities. Still others leave books in places where they’ll be found, such as doctors’ waiting rooms or coach stations.
The organisers of Book Giving Day support the holiday by sharing participants’ stories and offering bonuses such as downloadable holiday bookplates to use in gifts.
Support These Literacy Organisations
Every year during the beginning of February, World Read Aloud Day highlights the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. This year it falls on February 5,2020. Participants are encouraged to select a book, find a friend, and read aloud. The day also encourages parents to read aloud to their children.
It’s never too early for parents to start reading to their children. When parents read aloud to their kids, it helps foster language development and social-emotional learning. Additionally, reading aloud promotes happiness in children. When parents read to their children, it creates a spark in children to become joyful readers themselves. Also, both children and parents enjoy the special bond that gets created when parents read to their children.
Other benefits of reading aloud include:
- helping children acquire a larger vocabulary
- building a connection between the spoken and written word
- helping to increase attention span
- strengthens a child’s cognition
- providing a safe way to explore strong emotions
When reading aloud, parents should not read books that are too difficult or too easy. They should also find a place to read where there are minimal distractions. Parents should ensure they allow enough time to read the book. It’s important to read the book from beginning to end.
For older children try collections like Harry Potter. We read the book several nights in a row.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldReadAloudDay
Millions of people in over 170 countries celebrate this day. In 2019, the special day of reading was on the top trending hashtags on Twitter. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Chelsea Clinton have participated in the event.
It’s easy to participate. Simply find someone or a group of people to read a book to. Parents can read to their children. Kids can practice reading aloud by sharing their favorite story with friends or family. Some people even read aloud to their pets. If you want to participate in a read-aloud event in your community, check with the library or bookstore.
To spread awareness for the day, use #WorldReadAloudDay on social media. Be sure to post a pic of the book you read aloud! Remember, this is one day that parents and children can #CelebrateEveryDay.
Don’t forget other great book celebrations this month. International Book Giving Day on February 14. National Library Lovers Day on February 12.
WORLD READ ALOUD DAY HISTORY
LitWorld, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy, created World Read Aloud Day in 2010. Their mission is to strengthen kids and communities through the power of stories. The well-known book publisher, Scholastic, sponsors World Read Aloud Day.
The entire month of February is dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to the reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying and otherwise loving books. It’every s National Library Lover’s Month!
Check out some of these fantastic Authors and their books. I’ve said for years “Hollywood needs a library card. Guess someone finally heard me. ” They currently have Movies or series based on the books.
There are lots of great authors and books I cannot begin to list them all here. Make sure you bookmark and like our site for more.
Libraries provide so much more than a place for us to enjoy great novels or to discover amazing adventures and untold history. Yes, they help us ace our research papers and provide a quiet space to study, but they do so much more.
For preschoolers, libraries entertain them with theater and hands-on activities exposing them to music, art and their first friendships. Many communities rely on their libraries for meeting space for public forums, socials, fundraisers and classes.
Libraries lend not only books but music and movies. Rotating art displays give local artists exposure to the community. Larger libraries provide preservation services, preserving some of the most treasured books, periodicals and documents for future generations.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Continue enjoying your library, but consider volunteering your time, too. If you don’t have a library card, it’s never too late! Visit your library to get one! Use #NationalLibraryLoversDay to share on social media.
Of course, if you’re even a fraction addicted to books as I am you may have to start your own library. Mine is currently occupying four bookshelves with some still boxed. Since I like to reread mine I use them frequently. As I usually read a full novel in about two days I have to carry a small ton from my local library or draw from my own. I wish ereaders had been around when I started.
If you want to pass this gift to others February 14th is also International Book Giving Day.
On January 22nd if you need a break from the Impeachment Trial, Library Shelfie Day, offers a unique opportunity for book lovers.
Some collectors of books tend to arrange their collections so their spines can be admired pleasantly. Others have a system of organization that results in an alternative art form. However our books are organized on the shelf, they are meant to be photographed and shared on social media.
Library Shelfies offer book stores, libraries, schools, and individuals an opportunity to express their reading preferences through a single photograph. Whether they frame their favorite authors, titles, genres or cover art, readers share a bit of their library in creative ways. With or without dust jackets, signed and unsigned, dogeared and in mint condition, bibliophiles love books of all kinds.
HOW TO OBSERVE #LibraryShelfieDay
Whether you have a small library with a few select favorites or are a true bibliophile, arrange your collection on a shelf and take a picture. Some suggestions include:
- Arrange by color
- Order books by height, thickness, width
- Arrange book titles so they send a message
- Stack books artistically
- Place books in the order in which they were read
- Rely on the good ol’ alphabetical order by author
- Display a biography only shelfie
Once you’ve taken your library shelfie, visit a local library and check out theirs. You might find they’ve developed clever ways to entice you to new books and old ones, too. Don’t forget to use #LibraryShelfieDay to share on social media.
LIBRARY SHELFIE DAY HISTORY
The New York Public Library founded Library Shelfie Day as a way to observe various national holidays by displaying shelfies representing books from each day.
You can combine this with Blonde Brownie Day also recognized today. A good cup of coffee or tea, a blonde brownie, and a great book. Curl up in your favorite spot. There is no better way to enjoy a cold winters day. (It’s 30° in Florida. Trust me this is cold for us.)