Formerly 'The Mile Long Bookshelf'

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Why I Can't Live Without Books | World Book Day

For as long as I can remember, World Book Day has been a massive part of my life. I have vivid memories of me walking home from primary school and asking my mum, "when will it be World Book Day again?" only to be extremely disappointed at it being months and months ahead.

Still in primary school, I remember how ecstatic I was when the day finally came that the teacher would hand out the book tokens, and my jealousy that she was allowed to hold so many in one go.

My love of World Book Day carried over into secondary school, when all of my friends would give me their tokens because I was the resident bookworm. I remember having a particularly rubbish day, and then finding a token crumpled on the floor on my way to Art, and instantly being cheered up.

As you can probably tell, I love World Book Day. How could I not, when it's a day dedicated to books that the entire world can celebrate?

This year is even more exciting than usual, because there's a new addition to the celebrations: the World Book Day Teen Fest, a free, online festival for bookish teens.

On the 4th and 5th of March from 6-8pm UK time, WBD Teen Fest will bring amazing authors including Holly Smale, Marcus Sedgwick, Malorie Blackman and Derek Landy straight to your screen! With hangouts and interviews, how-tos, blog posts, playlists, prizes and much more, each night will be packed with awesome bookish stuff as well as the chance to chat with other readers and writers. Oh, and did I mention... it's FREE. You don't even have to get out of bed if you don't want to.

I was so excited when I first heard about WBD Teen Fest because, as you already know, it's really difficult for me to get to events in person, and I have to turn down 99% of event invites that come my way. So, when I found out that this was online, I was so, so happy.

The theme this year is 'why we can't live without books'. This immediately inspired a short skit on my YouTube channel, which you can see here. I'd love for you to watch - it might be a 4-minute video, but it took an entire day of scripting, filming and a surprising amount of costume changes...

But there are more reasons for me not being able to imagine living without books that I didn't include in that video. The first is that books have made me who I am today, so if I'd never read a book in my life, who knows who I'd be? I might like maths, for a start. That would just be weird.

On a more serious note, though, I think it's books that have made me an accepting and tolerant person. It doesn't bother me if you're trans. It doesn't bother me if you're homosexual, or demisexual, or any of the rest. If you have an illness of some sort, or you have psychic abilities, or you're a wizard, I'm not going to treat you any differently. Books allow you to experience life as someone else for a little while and can help you to gain perspective.

Everyone needs an escape sometimes, but for some it's impossible to physically do that. In real life, I've been to England, obviously, and France. In books, I've been all over the world, from igloos in Antarctica to the designer streets of Hollywood, and the sunny beaches in Australia to the dusty plains of Afghanistan.

Aaaand lastly, I really want to write a book one day. So, if books didn't exist, I wouldn't be able to, and that would be sad.

Luckily for us, books do exist, and the wonderful people behind World Book Day have offered one of you a YA book bundle! You can enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
WBD Teen Fest is on the 4th and 5th of March from 6-8pm each night. That's UK time, but you can check what time it'll be in your country here. To find out more about WBD Teen Fest, check out their website for the full line-up of what's happening across the Internet for World Book Day, and why not share why you can't live without books? You can do this in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #cantlivewithoutbooks as both me and the WBD team will be retweeting and reposting some of our favourites.

Why couldn't you live without books?



  1. My favorite book would have to be hands down to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis! And, I loved the video, Amber! I thought you did a really great job with the skit, costumes, and your acting! Haha, I can never fake a cold. It's hard for me to pretend sniffling and having my voice to sound like I have a sore throat. I agree that it's possible to live without books, but that would be just sad.

    1. Thank you! I think I had a copy of Across the Universe but never read it! No idea what happened to it. I might buy it again :)

  2. My favourite ya book is definitely Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I've never related so much to a character before as I have with Cath, and it made me feel like I'm not alone in the things that I do like writing fanfiction and obsessing over Harry Potter. My love for this book will never cease to exist.

    1. Aw, I love it when people 100% relate to books. And you are definitely not alone in writing fanfic and obsessing over Harry Potter ;)

  3. I agree completely! I used to pick up unwanted book tokens as well! You're so right that books open up new worlds to us, so we can learn about others and what it is like to be someone else. That's why I couldn't live without books, it helps us travel. "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." very true :-)

  4. Ha ha- all my friends who don't really like reading gave me their tokens. I also try to pick them up off the floor :'). My favourite YA book is Eleanor and Park (I'll probably change my mind as soon as I post!). It's just so deep and heartfelt and you just want to reach into the book and give Eleanor a huge hug when she is having troubles. I would love to win the bundle :). I bought my copy of Geek Drama from the shops before I got my token because I always seem to miss them in the shops when I do have it! Geek Girl is amazing! Yesterday HarperCollins sent my some red sparkly glasses and a 'GEEK' badge. I love pretty much every book and book day so much it hurts!

  5. LOVE your video, Amber! I couldn't live without books either, however I'm feeling, I know that I have my books. I have fictional friends to make and places to go to and it's truly such a magical feeling. Books help us understand the world and they help us understand ourselves. They truly are amazing!

    And OH MY GOSH, I can't believe Derek Landy and Holly Smale were at the WBD Teen Fest! I wish I could've gone as they're 2 of my favorite authors!

  6. My favorite is Graceling by Kristin Cashore! Great video, I totally agree with all your reasons why books are SO AWESOME

  7. And the Oscar goes to......
    great video Amber and thanks for the giveaway

  8. Oops didnt read the question first. Favourite YA book has to be If I Stay by Gayle Forman. So beautifully written and moving.

  9. Hey! I nominated you for a blog award! Check here for details:


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