Have you found yourself overwhelmed? Loads of chores to do? Tired after a long day? Well, why don’t you just Drop Everything And Read!
D.E.A.R. Day was established to encourage readers young and old to make reading a priority. Further, organizers hope that families find themselves motivated to put aside all distractions and enjoy reading a book together. That first step can lead to rewarding new reading habits that last a lifetime.
D.E.A.R. Day was first inspired by a passage from the beloved book, Romona Quimby, Age 8 (1981), by Beverly Cleary. It’s why D.E.A.R. Day is nationally celebrated in tandem with Cleary’s birthday every April.
You can celebrate and carry Beverly Cleary’s legacy forward with a number of classics, such as the Ramona Quimby, the Henry Huggins, or the Ralph S. Mouse series. Whether you’re reading a picture book, a graphic novel, or a chapter book, take some time out of your day to enjoy a story. But don’t just Drop Everything And Read today— by finding time in your schedule for a great book, you can make reading a daily hobby.
Looking for ways to celebrate D.E.A.R. Day? Here are some suggestions:
- Read Aloud – Settle in with a book of your choice and read it aloud for at least 15 minutes. With our reading tips, you can make reading aloud a fun activity for the whole family on D.E.A.R. Day – and beyond.
- Shared Space Reading – If you prefer to read independently, but still want to spend time with your family, select your own books and read together in a shared space. At the end of your reading period, take a few minutes to share what you read about. You might find yourself interested in trading books!
- Library Visit – Take a trip to your public library. Most libraries allow you to check out at least ten books at a time, but if you don’t have a library card, it’s a short, easy process that will grant you access to your library’s collection of books, music, and movies.
- Roundabout Retelling – Once you’ve read a section from your book of choice, take a few minutes to talk about what you’ve read. Share your favorite parts – the scenes that stood out, the language or imagery that touched you, or a piece of dialogue that made you laugh. So long as you’re spending time with the text and sharing your thoughts, you’re doing it right!
- Writing Prompts – This is your opportunity to be creative. Imagine the story from the point of view of another character. Write about how you would act if you were suddenly dropped into the book you’re reading. Or maybe write a short story of your own! Then, share that work by either reading it aloud or letting a family member take a look.
- Reflections – If you prefer to keep your thoughts between you and the text, jot down your impressions in a notebook. Here, you can discuss anything you’d like — what about your reading excites you? How does the main character resonate with you? What about the plot or characters encouraged you to find out what happened next? It can even be as simple as sharing a few sentences about what you’ve read. If you keep it up, you may even find yourself in the habit of keeping a reading journal!