Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happy World Book Day! Spare a thought for those of us stuck in the sucky day job who can't join in - A ReadItDaddy Editorial

Happy World Book Day! Yes, today is the one day in the year when I sincerely wish I worked in a profession that allowed me to dress up like my favourite book character and join with all the fun and festivities.

Sadly the "Sucky Day Job" (which I only call "The Sucky Day Job" purely because it wasn't really what I'd imagined I'd be doing "When I grew up) doesn't allow for such frivolities so I'm likely to join in vicariously and spend the entire day green with envy as I follow the fun on Twitter and Facebook.

So today's editorial is a bit of a two-pronged thing. Firstly, it's a bit of a musing about writing a book blog in our dwindling spare time. There's sometimes still an assumption that this is our day job, and somehow we're eminently available to wait in for book parcels from 'knock and go' couriers, or attend launch events, trot off to book festivals or magically free up a few hours in a normal working day to work on time-critical articles and reviews.

I so wish that was true. I'm so glad that most PRs we deal with really understand that we can't commit to anything other than promising to write our socks off reviewing their lovely books.

Location's also a killer. If I lived in London (as I once did 20 years ago) I would find it easy to nip along after work to launches - but once I'm done with TSDJ it's 5pm, I could get to the nearest transport into London by 5.30, traffic permitting get to London by 7, schmooze for a couple of hours listening to fascinating folk launch or talk about books, then I'd have to leave early and get back home in time for an exhausted collapse into bed.

"Wail moan wail" you're probably thinking by now. But I'm a writing machine, and despite this and (thankfully) an increasing amount of input from Charlotte into the blog, I could never imagine making a living out of a blog - not a living to support my family anyway.

Second point is about World Book Day itself. If there's ever a day to bring out the very best and the very worst in parents, it's any day where kids are ready to dress up as their favourite book characters. We'll swiftly ignore the 'hilarious' mum who dressed her son up as Christian Grey for WBD (look forward to years in therapy, kid!) and raise a non-alcoholic glass of fizzy water to the mums and dads who go all out to create fabulous costumes themselves so that their kids can go to school, contributing to this very special day.

Charlotte's school never seems to celebrate World Book Day on the actual day, but they do have book weeks later on in the year so we'll let them off the hook. We look forward to it because we usually come up trumps when it comes to thinking up costume ideas. My wife is ridiculously talented with a needle and thread, and is very arty and crafty - and I chip in as well with my meagre skills. There's something so satisfying about creating a costume from scratch rather than just clicking "add to basket" on some Disney Princess costume from the internet (Yes, yes we know your children love Frozen but do you have to dress them as Anna or Elsa every flipping year? Brian is getting a bit sick of it now).

I can't wait to see what people do, how they celebrate, the costumes they come up with and to hear the general excitement about books from all over the world, from people who (like us) love books so much that they'll go to any lengths to prove it, even dressing up! Bless you all, you really do all rock!

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