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World Book Day 2021 – 14 inspirational quotes on reading from famous and beloved authors

Get kids excited for World Book Day 2021 with wise words from their favourite authors and some of the greatest literary minds of all time...

  • World Book Day 2021 – 14 inspirational quotes on reading from famous and beloved authors

Michael Rosen

“Children are surrounded with taboos, restrictions, regulations, timetables, conventions, orders, commands and the like. The world is not of their making.

Within the confines of a book, chaos can erupt and for that moment the child can find relief from order: the world doesn’t seem quite as fixed as usual.”

Read his full article here.

Tom Fletcher

“when I was about 13, the first Harry Potter came out – and it changed my life. For the first time, I got completely lost in a book – I wanted to live in that world, and I couldn’t wait for the next instalment in the series.

“When Deathly Hallows was due to be released, McFly were at the height of our career; we played a sold-out gig at the Manchester Arena, then after the show I put on a hooded coat and queued with all the other Rowling fans outside the store where I’d pre-ordered the book, before taking it straight back to the hotel to get started on it… talk about rock and roll!”

Read his full interview here.

Malorie Blackman

“My most positive memories of learning to read are of being read to by my teacher. Every day we would have story time, in every classroom, and I loved it. It made me want to seek out stories for myself. The first book I recall reading alone was Enid Blyton’s Mr Meddle’s Muddles, and it made me laugh out loud. Most of all, though, it gave me an immense sense of reading achievement, and inspired me to explore more books and to create my own stories… which eventually led to me becoming a writer.”

Sandi Toksvig

“I was very quick at school, so I got bored, and I’d just not turn up. But I discovered a second-hand bookshop in nearby Guildford, so while all the other girls were buying make-up and sweets, I was spending every penny I had in there. That’s where I educated myself, devouring Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy. That was my escape.”

Read her full interview here.

Lauren St John

“The sheer joy of being able to dive into a book and escape to a land of adventures is unlike anything else; within two pages I could be on the moors with the Famous Five, or riding a black stallion across the desert.”

Read her full interview here.

Jacqueline Wilson

“Whenever children ask me how they can become authors I always tell them to read lots first and foremost. It’s the most entertaining, absorbing, consoling, enjoyable occupation I know. If you read a great deal as a child you increase your vocabulary tremendously, you automatically see the point of paragraphs, you unconsciously learn about pacing and conflict, and the rhythm of the text teaches you grammar.”

Chris Riddell

“I noticed a book called Agaton Sax, and from the pictures alone I could tell that it was much more interesting than Peter and Jane, although the sentences were more complex. So I borrowed it, and worked my way through it – I understood maybe one word in five, but through context and the illustrations I got the gist of the story, which was about a Swedish detective with a bloodhound who loved cream cakes. It was exhilarating, and I suddenly realised that this is what reading was. Agaton Sax, then, was the book that made me a reader – and once I’d finished it, I went off in search of more stories like it.”

Cressida Cowell

“Opening a book for the very first time still fills me with the same excitement and anticipation that it did as a child. Books enable children to discover new worlds, meet new people and learn about the past, but they also have the power to transform lives. By sparking growing imaginations, stimulating critical thinking and helping to develop empathy, reading gives children the very skills they need to succeed at school, at work and in life.”

The Independent

Alesha Dixon

“What I do remember from childhood – and really powerfully – is the feeling I got when I was reading, and still do. It’s pure escapism – it offers me a chance to dive into something completely, and let my imagination come alive.”

Read her full interview here.

Roald Dahl

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”

Shirley Hughes

“It seems to me that one of the main problems today is how children are expected to react to everything so quickly, always being rushed from one thing to the next. Then at school, teachers are supposed to push them along as fast as possible, constantly racing to the next target. But reading isn’t a competition. My job, as an illustrator, is to slow children down; to encourage them to linger in the story, and to look.”

Neil Gaiman

“The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity.”

Maya Angelou

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

Julian Clary

“My mother had a lot of books, and from the age of 11 or 12 I started picking things off the shelves at home. That was when I first read DH Lawrence. At secondary school they wanted us to study The Rainbow, and we were asked who had read any Lawrence. The teacher – a monk – was horrified when I told him I’d read them all (“...even Sons and Lovers!”).”

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