#lovetoread on World Book Day 2016

Welsh Books Council

#lovetoread on World Book Day 2016 - 26 February 2016

This popular reading festival is going from strength to strength, and the Welsh Books Council is urging readers of all ages across Wales to join in the fun and to celebrate reading #lovetoread. Angharad Tomos, Reading Promotions Project Manager with the Welsh Books Council, says it is a special day in the reading events calendar and it encourages people to read a book:

"Books and reading are intertwined in our lives throughout the year, but World Book Day is a special opportunity to celebrate reading and it really raises the spirits to see children and adults across Wales with their heads buried in a good book!"

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, added: "World Book Day has by now become an important event in Wales and it is celebrated in schools, libraries and in the media. The purpose of the day is to draw attention to books and reading and to highlight the fantastic choice of reading material available. Yet again, a variety of activities will be held across Wales and will encourage the public to buy a book and to enjoy it."

Alongside the Welsh Government, World Book Day in Wales is also sponsored by the bookseller Waterstones. Steve Gane on behalf of the company said: "Waterstones are proud to support Welsh publishing along with the Welsh Books Council on World Book Day. The Books Council perform an essential role in literary Wales, and our continuing partnership on World Book Day is testament to that."

Leading up to the World Book Day celebrations, a large event was held in Swansea. The event, called the Biggest Book Show on Earth, saw 600 children attend the city’s Grand Theatre. In partnership with the Welsh Books Council, the free one-day show was an opportunity to see many of the stars of the world of children’s literature, including Steven Butler, Nick Arnold, Tony De Saulles, Knife and Packer, Huw Aaron and Dan Anthony.

"It was an excellent opportunity for the children to discover more about their favourite authors and illustrators and to learn more about the secrets of the trade," explained Angharad. "We were delighted that the Biggest Book Show on Earth came to the Grand. It was a great opportunity for local children to be entertained and inspired by fantastic authors. We are very glad that the tour started here in Wales this year."

Following the book show in the morning, the excitement continued in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, where World Book Day tried to break the Guinness World Record for the highest number of children taking part in a books quiz at the same time. Over 200 children aged between 9 and 13 from schools all over south Wales took part in the event at the Brangwyn, and thousands more took part across the whole of Britain! Did they succeed in breaking the record? You can hear the result on World Book Day!

Another event on World Book Day, 3 March, will be the launch of a new theatre in education show for schools and libraries which will celebrate the works of the world's number one storyteller, Roald Dahl. It's a joint venture between the Welsh Books Council and the theatre for children company Mewn Cymeriad / In Character, and the show is part of the official centenary celebrations of the author in Wales.

Following the success of our #bookselfie challenge which was held for the first time last year to celebrate World Book Day, we wanted to encourage the same enthusiasm again this year and to try and collect even more selfies! "Our aim is simply to get children, school pupils, parents and people all over Wales to take a selfie showing them reading or holding a book, and to upload the picture on our Twitter stream @DYLLCymruWBDWales," said Angharad. "By creating a collection of selfies using the hashtags #bookselfie and #hunlyfr, we can show the world that Welsh people of all ages want to celebrate reading, and that they are delighted with books of all types."

Our #bookselfie challenge will be launched this year by the actor Chris Kinahan from the In Character theatre show, and you will get a glimpse of the new character Chris will be portraying during 2016. The challenge will be announced on Saint David's Day, just ahead of World Book Day itself. One of the highlights of World Book Day is the annual lecture held in the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay on Tuesday, 1 March. The guest speaker will be Meilyr Rowlands, Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales, who will be discussing 'What is worth learning? A personal history through books'. Light refreshments will be available at 6.00 pm and the lecture will start at 6.30 pm. This is a lecture for invitees only and is sponsored by Huw Lewis AM. Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, will also be present.

The Welsh Books Council is proud to acknowledge the generous contribution towards the lecture by Mererid and Angharad Puw Davies in memory of their parents, Roger and Catrin Puw Davies, who contributed so much to the literary world in Wales. Contact Menai Williams on 01970 624151 for more information: menai.williams@books.wales.

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