National Read a Book Day

September 6 is National Read a Book Day. This history of National Read a Book Day is unclear, although most believe that this day originated in the United States, but its goal is clear: take the day to read a book. Luckily for us this year, National Read a Book Day falls on Labor Day, a holiday for many, so let's use this day of rest to its fullest and read a book!

There are no specifics for how best to observe and celebrate. There are no instruction as to what kind of book to read. There are, of course, plenty of opinions and studies written in the ongoing debate of print versus digital books. Honestly, had you asked me my personal opinion a couple of years ago, I would've staunchly placed myself on Team Print and proclaiming there is no equal to the look, feel, and smell of a printed book! But now? Well, I find myself a recent convert to digital books, enjoying the simplicity of having a handful of books in my pocket ready to be enjoyed at a moment's notice. Checking out library books digitally is even easier!

New to ebooks? Check out our helpful guides for how to check out and access our eBook collections.

In my recent excitement of digital books, I have not forgotten the warmth of a printed book in my hands, and there is no comparison to browsing the shelves at the library, picking up books that catch the eye, and flipping through its pages. I cannot deny the comfort I find in the sound as I turn a page; the pride of seeing how far I've made it through a long story; the softness the paper feels in my fingers. Reading a book to me is, as it is for many, a sensual experience.

A photo of a man and a woman sitting in a tree reading to each other.
Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) from Pexels

When it comes to National Read a Book Day there are neither any specifics as to whether to celebrate this day on your own or with others. I often think of reading as something I do by myself. I forget that I have greatly enjoyed reading with others, even if it's silent reading. Much joy can be had between friends and family by simply sharing the experience of reading side by side.

Reading also doesn't have to be silent. There are plenty stories that beg to be read aloud and with others! If you're a parent, you are most likely well practiced in the act of reading aloud, perhaps advanced enough to even have developed distinct voices for each character. If you're a child, you've read aloud to an attentive audience of parents and teachers.

Ebooks for Kids? Absolutely! San Jose Public Library's Kids collection on Overdrive is full of read-along picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and audiobooks for kids. Read together using the Libby app on your phone or tablet.

Of course, let's not forget the humble audiobook! Perfect for long commutes and as a soundtrack to washing dishes. Audiobooks are also fantastic for readers of all ages. Parents of young reader can catch a break and allow someone else to narrate and do the voices. Families can start up an audiobook at the start of a long road trip and enjoy stories together. Adults can relive the comfort they had as a young reader being read to. Not to mention audiobooks make accessible books for those with sight challenges and disabilities.

Photo of a person with dark hair cut short on the sides sitting on a couch reading a book.
Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

Did you know? You can stream audiobooks electronically using the Libby App on your phone or tablet?

Need help finding your next book?

San Jose Public Library's librarians and staff are poised and ready to help guide you toward your next, potentially, favorite book.

SJPL 5forU

SJPL's 5forU provides patrons with personalized recommendations for books of all formats based on a variety of factors provided by the patron, such as what types of books they're looking for (ie fiction vs. non-fiction), what they've read and liked or not liked, and anything in particular they're looking for in a book's plot or characters. Simply fill out the online form and an email response with a personalized list of book recommendations will arrive in response.

Are you a fan of comics? Hoopla Digital has a fantastic electronic comic reader available for your phone or tablet. Catch up with your favorite characters today!

Recommended Reading

Available in our online catalog is a series of recommended reading lists curated by SJPL librarians on a wide range of topics -- Mythology, Thrillers, Historical FictionFacing Racism through Fiction -- and organized by age -- Kids, Teens, Adult. We also have book recommendations in Spanish.

Looking for our Lucky Day items as eBooks? Header to cloudLibrary our online Lucky Day collection for fiction and non-fiction.

Ultimately, reading can be done however, whenever, and wherever you can. There are no rules!

Photo of a young boy and a girl smiling while reading a book together underneath a blanket.
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels