This year the 3rd of March marks the 25th anniversary of World Book Day! Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading for children, young people, and adults in over 100 countries since 1997.
Here at TheStudios, we thought we’d take this opportunity to talk a little about some local literary notables (pun intended) and some of the wider benefits reading can offer you and your health.
Tales of childhood, food, love, and overcoming life’s obstacles can be more than enough inspiration for any of us to take pen to paper; typewriter, laptop, phone, or whichever means you choose to share your story. Sharing and reading each other’s experiences can not only be heartwarming and stimulating but often can reflect our own thoughts and feelings we would otherwise never even think about.
Popular and impassioned writers come from all manner of backgrounds, villages, towns, and cities; including, of course, our beloved Wolverhampton! Here are a mere few authors who have at some point shared their stories of our city and how it has changed them.
Nigel Slater – Toast
Most discerning culinary enthusiasts will have heard of our first local notable, if not read one of his many popular books such as his most recent ‘A Cook’s Book’, 1997’s ‘Real Cooking’, and 2012’s ‘Notes from the Larder’. However, Nigel Slater’s 2003 unashamedly honest memoir ‘Toast’ sets his childhood and formative years in Wolverhampton firmly front and center.
From page to screen
Described as ‘intimate’ and ‘occasionally unsettling’, ‘Toast’ has been translated into six languages, studied as a school text, and has also been adapted for the screen by the BBC. Starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore, ‘Toast’ the film has been celebrated at numerous international film festivals.
With a writing and television career now spanning over thirty years, Nigel Slater is undoubtedly a Wulfrun treasure and is more than deserving of a mention in celebration of World Book Day.
Caitlin Moran – How to Build a Girl
An outspoken and often polarising author, journalist, and broadcaster, our next writer of choice has shared her tales of moving to and growing up in Wolverhampton in the early 90s with her semi-autobiography ‘How to Build a Girl’ in 2014. The first in a trilogy, Moran also co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation released to acclaim in 2019.
Rowdy, rave reviews
Garnering worldwide attention, The New York Times reviewed How to Build A Girl as ‘…rowdy and fearless … sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways’ – sentiments the reading public very much shared, taking the novel to the number one spot of The Sunday Times bestseller list.
Caitlin Moran currently writes three columns a week for The Times newspaper and has received multiple prestigious awards from the London Press Club and British Press Awards for her contribution to journalism; securing her place as one of Wolverhampton’s modern literary treasures.
Peter Daz – My Life Adventures
Some writers don’t always make it into the public eye by being published. Self-publishing books online is a great way for many talented and passionate writers to share their stories in e-book form. Our last local author has very recently been courting press attention for his candid and incredible autobiography ‘My Life Adventures’
A global journey
Tawanda Mhondiwa (writing as Peter Daz) having grown up in a Zimbabwean village, worked his way into a life in the city, and in 2000 came to work in high-profile government positions under Robert Mugabe. What follows is a truly enlightening story of resilience and awakening; when he eventually sought political asylum here in the UK.
Tawanda is now a proud and valued member of the Wolverhampton community with a story that makes incredible reading.
Purchase Tawanda’s book now at Google Books, Amazon book store, or wherever you purchase your digital books.
Reading for Pleasure – Reading for Health
In the words of the eponymous Dr. Seuss: “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax. All you need is a book.”
Most people struggle to find time to read something other than a computer screen, or a smartphone. That said, there are still over 80% of us who continue to read printed books, as well as e-readers.
Here are some great reasons to continue picking up a book both for fun and to improve your health:
Did you know – reading a book for a short time can lower your heart rate and ease muscle tension? Reading can reduce overall stress by up to 68% according to a 2009 University of Sussex study. Perhaps carrying a good book with you at all times could help you remain chill?
- Brain Booster
We can all feel a bit fuzzy and tired with the stresses of work and home life. With the brain being one of the parts that bears the brunt of stress the most over time. A great way to combat this is to take regular brain exercise. This can be as simple as talking, drawing, or even watching an engaging film or documentary. The act of reading is considered a form of brain exercise, which can also lower mental decline by 32%. (according to research published in Neurology Magazine)
- Books at Bedtime
One of the most popular times for reading is at bedtime, aiding a more restful and deeper night of sleep. Regardless of what we are reading, by becoming engrossed in another story, another world outside our own; we replicate the very same effect as being read bedtime stories as a child. Treat yourself and read a little more often before bed.
Happy World Book Day!
How will you celebrate World Book Day? Pick up your favourite biography or novel? Will you go out and buy that book you’ve been looking forward to reading for ages? Perhaps you’ll start writing your own memoirs for the world to read?
Wherever you are, whoever you are remember how good it can feel to read. Share the love of reading this World Book Day, Thursday 3rd March, and beyond!
For more information on World Book Day click here
Read more about Wolverhampton bidding for City of Culture on our blog here