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2020 literary calendar with 122 occasions for book fans

Don’t you love it when you have an opportunity to celebrate all that books and authors bring to our world?

You have plenty of them this year! There’s a day, week, month, or special occasion for just about every book-related topic you can think of in 2020.

Want to support your local library? Promote literacy? Get more people reading? You’ll get what you need in the 2020 literary calendar.

How to use the 2020 literary calendar

How can you take advantage of these special dates? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. Here are the basics.

Step 1. Start by reviewing the list below and selecting those that resonate with you. For example, if you are a children’s book author, one of them might be Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week starting February 3. Is the Grapes of Wrath the best book you’ve ever read? Feburary 27, John Steinbeck’s birthday, might be for you.

Step 2. Add the dates you like to your calendar. Then schedule time before each holiday or occasion to create the materials you’ll use to promote the event. (Don’t be like me and forget to do this.) The lead time depends on what you’ll do to recognize the event, how much time you need, and whether your plan involves collaborating with others.

Step 3. Decide how you’ll recognize the occasion. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write a blog post or article about why it’s important to you. This can be for your blog, for someone else’s, or on a platform such as Medium.
  • Join a local library committee to plan and execute library-related events.
  • Reduce the price of your book for a limited time.
  • Create an event-related image to share on social media. Some themed months, weeks, and dates with an organization behind them create images you can use, too. Here’s one for Independent Bookstore Day, April 25.

Independent Bookstore Day 2020

Step 4: Execute your plan.

Your 2020 literary calendar

Ready to have some fun? Here’s a month-by-month breakdown.

January

1 – Copyright Law Day

2 – National Science Fiction Day

4 – World Braille Day

12 – Universal Letter Writing Week

14 –  Poetry at Work Day

18 – Thesaurus Day

18 – Winnie the Pooh Day (birthday of author A.A. Milne)

19 – Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday

22 – Library Shelfie Day

25 – Burns Supper (Robert Burns’s birthday)

January 26 – February 2 – Family Literacy Week

27 – Lewis Carroll’s birthday (author of Alice in Wonderland )

27 – Family Literacy Day in Canada

February

Library Lovers’ Month

1 – Take Your Child to the Library Day

3-7 Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week

5 – World Read Aloud Day

9 – Read in the Bathtub Day

12 –Judy Blume’s birthday

14 – International Book Giving Day

14 – Library Lovers’ Day

19 – Amy Tan’s birthday

23-29 Canada’s Freedom to Read Week

26 – Tell a Fairy Tale Day

27 – John Steinbeck’s birthday

March

1-7 – Read an E–book Week

2 – Read Across America Day

2 – Dr. Seuss’s birthday

3-9 – Return Borrowed Books Week

4 – National Grammar Day

5 – World Book Day in the UK and Ireland

16 – Freedom of Information Day

20 – World Storytelling Day

21 – World Poetry Day

26 – Robert Frost’s birthday

30 – Pencil Day

April

National Poetry Month

1 – Reading is Funny Day

1 – Poetry and the Creative Mind Day

2 – Children’s Book Day

2 – Hans Christian Anderson’s birthday

4 – School Librarian Day

4 – Maya Angelou’s birthday

12 – Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day

12 – Beverly Cleary’s birthday

13 – Scrabble Day

14 – Noah Webster published American Dictionary of the English Language

15 – Rubber Eraser Day

16 – Celebrate Teen Literature Day

18 – Newspaper Columnists Day

19-25 – National Library Week

19-25 – National Poetry Week

21 – National Library Workers Day

22 – National Bookmobile Day

23 – Take Action for Libraries Day

23 – William Shakespeare’s birthday

23 – World Book and Copyright Day

23 – English Language Day

25 – Independent Bookstore Day

27 – Tell a Story Day

28 – Great Poetry Reading Day

May

Short Story Month

Get Caught Reading Month

1 – Mother Goose Day

2 – Free Comic Book Day

4-10 – Children’s Book Week

5 – National Cartoonists Day

12 – Limerick Day

22 – Sherlock Holmes Day

31 – Walt Whitman’s birthday

June

Audiobook Appreciation Month

GLBT Book Month

10 – Ballpoint Pen Day

22 – Octavia Butler’s birthday

23 – The first typewriter patent was awarded

25 – Eric Carle’s birthday

July

Read an Almanac Month

4 – National Tom Sawyer Day

11 – E.B. White’s birthday

21 – Ernest Hemingway’s birthday

30 – Paperback Book Day

31 – J.K. Rowling’s birthday

August

2 – National Coloring Book Day

9 – Book Lovers Day

18 – Bad Poetry Day

21 – Poet’s Day

31 – We Love Memoirs Day

September

Library Card Sign Up Month

Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month

Literacy Month

Read a New Book Month

4 – Richard Wright’s birthday

6 – Read a Book Day

7 – Buy a Book Day

8 – International Literacy Day

21-27 Science Literacy Week in Canada

22 – Hobbit Day

22 – Dear Diary Day

24 – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday

25 – National Comic Book Day

September 27-October 2 – Banned Books Week

29 – International Coffee Day in the U.S. (October 1 in the UK)

October

National Book Month

6 – Mad Hatter Day

7 – Random Acts of Poetry Day

11 – Myth and Legends Day

16 – Dictionary Day

20 – National Day of Writing

20-26 – National Friends of Libraries Week

November

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

National Memoir Writing Month

National Non-Fiction Month in the UK

Picture Book Month

National Family Literacy Month

1 – National Author’s Day

10 – Young Readers Day

15 – I Love to Write Day

18 – High Five a Librarian Day

December

10 – Dewey Decimal System Day

16 – Jane Austen’s birthday

21 – Crossword Puzzle Day

21 – National Short Story Day

24 – Jolabokaflod, Iceland’s Yule Book Flood


Here’s a short disclaimer: Please note that there’s conflicting information online about some of these dates, but we’ve tried our best to verify and validate everything. Please let us know if you have a correction or clarification.

Have we missed anything? If you know of a holiday or occasion that should be on this calendar but isn’t, tell us in a comment. We’ll continually update this as needed. Thanks! 

Editor’s note 1-15-20: Thanks to an alert reader, we’ve add #123: May is Short Story Month.

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17 Comments

  1. Thanks so much, Sandra! You’ve given me tremendous fuel for my social media output this year! We can only send so many “Buy my book!” postings before people tune us out.

    1. Ohmygosh, Sadira, you are SO right! I’m glad you found some helpful options in this list! And feel free to share the link with any others you think might benefit from it — the whole point is to HELP.

      Sandy

    1. I’m so glad to hear it, Donna! I hope you can have a little fun with some of these.

      I think my favorite option is creating an image that recognizes the special date and using it to ask about experiences. On one of these occasions, I asked people to name the book that stayed with them the longest, and learned about SO MANY books that I had to add to my to-be-read list!

      Sandy

    1. Provide the date and the connection to authors, books, and publishing, and we can update the list.

      Thanks,

      Sandy

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