September is National Literacy Month and as we head into fall it is the perfect time to cozy up and get to back to that TBR. As book lovers, don’t we all just want more book lovers? Celebrate the love of reading in these five ways to help create more life-long readers.

Give a Child a Book

Often when we think of literacy, we think of those early years of reading. Getting your first library card, going to the Media Center at school, Scholastic Book Fairs (oh, those were the days). The way adults introduce reading to children is crucial. From the language we use (“Don’t you love the smell of a new book?”) to the places we go and what’s stocked on our shelves. The best thing you can do to foster a love of reading early is to give a child a book. Or ten. If you have your own kids, make sure each has their own personal library and a willing adult eager to read to them. If you don’t have kids, you likely still know of a friend’s child, a niece/nephew, or a neighbor kid who would love a sweet little gift. Something about receiving a book as a present makes it all the more special and desirable.

Donate to a Local School or Library

Maybe your kids are all grown. See if there is a local library, children’s hospital, school or foster care facility that might be willing to take a donation of older books. You could also just purchase books to give away or make a cash donation. All of which are working to ensure a future full of well-read humans.

Let People See You Reading

Do not underestimate the power of leading by example. One of the best things to come out of 2020 was all of a sudden, people started reading. A lot. Because of the book community on TikTok (and a sudden abundance of time), people who never liked reading or had lost their love of reading picked up a book again and reignited the flame. Join a book club, let your kids see you reading instead of watching TV or scrolling, pick a book to read with your partner, friends or as a family. Be the the bookish beacon for everyone around you!

Show Your Favorite Authors Some Love

We wouldn’t have books without the ambitious people who author them. The more books in the world the more opportunities there are for someone to fall in love with reading. So make sure you’re leaving reviews, sending personal messages and attending author events to keep those who produce the product fueled up on positivity for their next project.

Share Books On Social Media

If you aren’t already, it’s time to start sharing what you’re reading with the online world. From BookTok to bookstagram to Goodreads and beyond, there are so many communities of bookish people out there. Reading can be such a solitary act, but when we reach out and find book friends, that is peak enjoyment. Not only will you be gaining new friends, but you will be spreading the love of reading around like fairy dust.

How will you be celebrating National Literacy Month and spreading the joy of reading?