Posted in Events, Personal life, Reading

Why Every Day Should Be a Book Day

As anyone with a school-age child cannot fail to be aware, Thursday 2nd March will be World Book Day. This annual event was founded by UNESCO to promote reading. While almost all schools do something special to celebrate books that day, they work hard to foster a love of reading all year round, and quite right too.

Having spent three years working for Read for Good, the national children’s reading charity based in Nailsworth, I’m well versed in the life-long advantages gained by children who habitually read for pleasure:

  • greater academic achievement
  • more successful careers
  • a broader vocabulary
  • better social skills
  • stronger interpersonal relationships and more…

All reading expands the reader’s experience of life, and the older I get, the more I want to squeeze into mine.

Yet in our busy adult lives, it’s easy to forget that a leisure reading habit benefits us in the same ways.

So this World Book Day, take a leaf out of the children’s books (ho ho) and treat yourself to some quality reading time.

When I say quality, don’t worry, I’m not asking you pick up Proust or delve into Dickens. Just read what you enjoy.

There really is no such thing as a bad book.

I’m sure Prince Harry would be glad to hear me say that.

You don’t have to wait till your summer holidays to enjoy a beach read.  Conversely, if you fancy the challenge of a demanding 1000-page classic, treat yourself to the time it takes to complete it.

Don’t feel guilty if you’d rather reread an old favourite than tackle something new. Novelist Ali Smith provides the perfect justification. She says every rereading provides a different experience, because you’ll have changed as a person in between times.

A book is not just about what the author writes – it’s about what the reader brings to it too.

That makes perfect sense to me. When I first read Through the Looking Glass as a child, I identified entirely with Alice. Now I feel (and look) more like the White Queen.

Tenniel drawing of Alice pinning up the hair of the White Queen
(John Tenniel’s drawing from Through the Looking Glass is in the public domain)

Of course, for adults, dressing up as their favourite book character for World Book Day is strictly optional, although if the Seasalt catalogue counts as a book, that works for me.

This post was first published in the March 2023 edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News, 



image of cover of Best Murder in Show with gingham cloth and spots of blood
For a limited time only!

For a short time only, the first in my Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series will be just 99p/99c in the UK, Canada and Australia, thanks to my publishers Boldwood Books securing a special featured deal with book promoters Bookbub.

Download your 99p/99c ebook here!

If you haven’t read it yet, this is the book that sets the scene for the ever-growing series of comedy mystery novels set in a fictitious Cotswold village inspired by the one where I’ve lived for the last 32 years. It’s full of fun and humour, with a cast of lovable eccentrics and villains you’ll love to hate.

As it’s a cosy (cozy) mystery, its light, gentle, and family friendly, with nothing to give you (or me!) nightmares. This story is set at the height of summer and revolves around the annual village show – the social highlight for many traditional English villages, my own included.

(Apologies to readers in other countries that the offer doesn’t apply to you – that’s not my choice!) 


cover of Murder in the HIghlands with sprig of Scottish heather
Now available to pre-order

My latest novel, Murder in the Highlands, the eighth Sophie Sayers mystery, will be published on 15 March by Boldwood Books in ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audiobook.

Pre-order the ebook online here!

This story starts and finishes in Sophie’s Cotswold village of Wendlebury Barrow, and in between times she whisks Hector up to Inverness to meet her parents, planning a pleasant holiday. But as they cross the border to Gretna Green, trouble is right behind them, resulting in a murderous pursuit across the beautiful Scottish Highlands!

This book is a celebration of my love for the Scottish Highlands, and I hope that by the time you’ve finished reading it, you’l feel as if you’ve had a Scottish holiday too!

You can already pre-order the ebook, and the other editions will be available to order on launch day online and from bookshops.

As always, if you have any problems tracking down a copy in your chosen format, just contact me via the form on this website.



English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

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