Deconstructing a meme: #NationalBookLoversDay

It slipped into my consciousness the way memes do today, via Facebook and Twitter and a hashtag.

In fact, Facebook has validated this memorialization with its own explanatory post, complete with a “Share” button.

National Book Lovers Day

But “who says” that today is National Book Lovers Day?

After all, June as Dairy Month is 79 years old and lives on courtesy of the National Dairy Council (and your local dairy farmer). July as ice cream month was kicked off in 1984 via a Congressional resolution. October as breast cancer awareness is a global collaboration that dates to 1985. National Chocolate Day was created by the National Confectioners Association. Red Nose Day is the brainchild of a global charity and debuted in 2015.

But “National Book Lovers Day”?

Animated Gif - Sherlock reading book

Facebook calls it “unofficial”, an understatement. Neither of my local libraries say a word about today. I can find no organization, anywhere, behind this.

Enter Google search-by-date

I used Google to search a specific date range, starting 10 years ago.

nbld-2007

The first hit — and the only match that year — was for 2009, for the partial phrase “Book Lovers Day.” The blog: bookditionary.blogspot.com (which explains Google’s finding it, since Google bought Blogger).

 National Book Lovers Day

Book lovers day

One hit in 2010, but still missing “national.”

There were 10 hits in 2011. And “national” has entered the picture.

Yet one — only one — provides a link or a source for their claim. It just “is”. Take my word for it!

That single source, a calendar of holidays, notes:

Date When Celebrated : August 9th and/or first Saturday in November…
The Origin of Book Lovers Day: Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day.

National Book Lovers Day went mainstream in 2012.

Jennifer Polland and Business Insider served as amplifier for an alleged Amazon.com megaphone in 2012. (“Alleged” because there is no link for the referenced news release, and there is no such release at Amazon.)

This helps explain the virility. BI is a big megaphone. Although the link is tenuous, most “national this” or “day that” have a clear commercial connection, even if that link is non-profit fundraising.

Also in 2012: Google served up images in search results for the first time.

 National Book Lovers Day

Book Lovers Day 2012

Flash forward to 2016.

The memorial day with no origin has now been legitimized by the Clinton campaign, libraries hither and yon, Oxford University Press, Parade magazine, and a raft of social media managers.

National Book Lovers Day is an opportunity for bookophiles to let people know that they are bookophiles, regardless of their “nation”!

 

 

Or perhaps it’s an antidote to anti-intellectualism or anti-knowledge.

In any case, please read a book or two or three. And not just today, but every day!

Featured image: Trinity College Library long room, Dublin, Ireland

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