Since 1950, the National Book Foundation has highlighted the best fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and YA literature. In 2003, the organization created the first National Book Month.
This themed month is the perfect opportunity to read books, support others’ rights to read books, make the choice to support independent bookstores, and maybe even chip away at a book of your own.
We’ve curated a few recommendations for this month to help you make the most of it!
Ideas & Activities to Celebrate National Book Month
Read a new book.
Simply put, National Book Month is a wonderful opportunity to read a book (or two!). Whether you take a book to a coffee shop, or turn off Netflix early so you can read before bed — it’s unlikely you’re going to regret digging into a great new book.
If you need a new book, definitely check out Good Good Good’s curated lists of book recommendations about making a difference, connecting to others through empathy, and better understanding the world.
And, of course, if you already have a stack of books collecting dust, maybe this is your excuse to read one of those before you buy something new.
Reread a favorite book.
Why should new books have all the fun? In honor of National Book Month, maybe reread your favorite book from years (or decades!) ago.
You’ll reconnect with a book that played a role in shaping who you are — and you might even recognize how much you may have changed in the years since.
Help fight book bans.
In the 2021–2022 school year, 1,586 books were banned in schools across the United States — and a significant percentage of those books directly addressed issues of race, racism, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Book bans erase history and represent the effort to silence the people who are already the most underrepresented in literature.
Diverse stories are essential because they validate the experiences of those who can see themselves in those stories and they encourage empathy and understanding in those who don’t. Reading is a powerful act of resistance.
We’ve compiled a guide on how to combat book bans in your community and around the country — with simple action steps like Read banned books, Report banned books, and Support student activists
Pay a visit to your local library.
Libraries are absolutely remarkable — serving as an intersection between intellect and information and space and accessibility. They serve as a social service — and a place where people are put above profit.
Many of us take libraries for granted — and this month is an opportunity to change that.
Renew your library card, spend an afternoon among the bookshelves, utilize your library’s services, and maybe even bring a friend along.
Support an independent bookstore.
2022 ushered in some great news: The American Booksellers Association, the trade group for independent bookstore owners, says it now has 2,010 members at 2,547 locations — 300 more than it had in Spring 2021, and the most members it has had in years. On top of that, the stores are more diverse than ever.
Jeff Bezos initially founded Amazon as a bookselling empire, ultimately putting many physical bookstores out of business.
Amazon is able to leverage its massive scale to sell books for incredibly cheap. They’re able to slash prices (sometimes to a point of losing money) to ensure they have the lowest price — in the hopes of making the money back from other purchases and means.
It’s a radical act to choose to buy books from a more ethical marketplace, knowing that you may be paying more than you’d pay with Amazon.
However, many smaller booksellers offer incredible exclusive products (signed copies, merch, and more), or even intimate events with your favorite authors. It’s worth it to know that a writer or indie publishing house you love can keep doing the work they love because you chose to spend a few extra dollars.
Choosing ethical and sustainable alternatives is a choice that thousands of people are intentionally making, in an effort to support other booksellers.
We’ve compiled a list of the best online bookstores that aren’t Amazon — and details on how to find an IRL bookstore near you — to help you join the rebellion.
If you’re already an audiobook lover, you know how amazing they can be. And if you’re not yet an audiobook convert, you’re in for a treat.
There are a few reasons why audiobooks are great:
- They allow you to multitask, diving into a book while you workout, do chores, or drive
- They’ve been proven to help improve your vocabulary and even your comprehension
- A study has found that audiobooks can help you connect on a more emotional level than simple reading
- For many folks with disabilities, audiobooks make reading much more accessible
While Amazon’s Audible is the most well-known audiobook seller, there’s a myriad of Amazon alternatives that allow you to support ethical bookstores and get access to audiobooks at an amazing price.
Read good news about books.
At Good Good Good we’re all about good news — and over time we’ve collected a number of positive news stories about books and reading.
- Meet the Black literary society helping high schoolers fall in love with books
- The 'Human Library' is supporting diversity & inclusion in a creative way
- For students in juvenile detention, school doesn't stop. These teachers won't let it.
- Actress Emma Watson is creatively recommending her favorite books about climate change
Follow authors on social media.
It’s second nature to follow our favorite actors, photographers, and YouTubers on social media — but somehow it’s easy to forget to do the same for the authors of our favorite books.
Let this month be your excuse to seek out your favorite authors on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and their email newsletters.
By following them, you’ll get access to their words between book launches — plus, you’ll be supporting them by signaling to publishers that they have an eager audience excited to buy their future books.
And who knows — maybe you’ll reply to one of their posts and strike up a conversation!
Put up a Little Free Library.
You’ve surely seen the cute oversized mailboxes filled with books popping up in neighborhoods around the world.
The Little Free Library movement is filling communities with more books — and creating a connecting point for neighbors who may have otherwise simply walked past each other.
You can learn how to start your own Little Free Library on the official Little Free Library website.
Give the gift of books.
If you’re looking for a thoughtful and sustainable, and “consumable” gift, we highly recommend gifting a book the next time you attend a birthday, wedding, or holiday celebration.
When you gift a book you love to someone you care about, you share a piece of yourself, inviting them to understand you better and connect over something new.
Write your own book.
Everybody has a story to tell. While writing a book sounds daunting, know that every great book started with an author sitting across from a blank page.
Whether you journal every day or only write text messages, use this month to begin writing the story you want to tell. You never know who needs to hear it.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is National Book Month each year?
National Book Month begins on October 1st each year.
What is the hashtag for National Book Month?
The hashtag for National Book Month is simply #NationalBookMonth. You can use this for any posts celebrating books in October.