Celebrating National Book Month

The photograph shows an open book resting on an outstretched leg, with light and shadows from window blinds playing on the surface.

By Mai-Leng O.

October is a phenomenal month for Fall colors and cool crisp weather. There are myriads of activities one can do during October. Do you know that October is also National Book Month?

When was the National Book Month created?
The first National Book Month was created in 2003 by the National Book Foundation [NBF]. In 1429, the printing press had sparked a revolution that ideas and knowledge can be circulated widely and become more available to the common people. Starting in 1950, the NBF created the first National Book Awards to honor the country’s top authors and greatest books annually. NBF has a mission to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience and to ensure that books have a preeminent place in the American culture.

What are the categories in the National Book Awards?
During October, the NBF announces the five finalists for each of five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The winners are announced in November.

The goal of the month-long celebration is to encourage the love of reading, writing, and literature. It recognizes the greatest books and authors and to encourage individuals from all walks of life to develop a culture of reading!

How can you celebrate the National Book Month?

  • Visit your local library branch or hclibrary.org to look for great books and authors.
  • Ask library staff for recommendations of great books and authors.
  • Refer to NoveList for good reads.
  • Join a book discussion group to read with others.
  • Attend an author event.
  • Read or write poetry.

Have a delightful October reading and celebrating National Book Month!

Mai-Leng Ong is the Senior Materials Specialist at Howard County Library System. She holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.