15 Tiny Ways to Celebrate National Reading Month

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Susie (she/her) is a queer writer originally from Little Rock, now living in Washington, DC. She is the author of QUEERLY BELOVED and the forthcoming LOOKING FOR A SIGN from Dial Press/Random House. You can find her on Instagram @susiedoom.

Happy National Reading Month! Oh, you didn’t know? In recognition of Dr. Seuss’s birth month, March has been designated National Reading Month, a time to celebrate all things books. Schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country hold special events to mark the month, especially with reading activities for kids. But National Reading Month isn’t just for little ones. Readers of all ages can join the fun. Go all-out by starting a new book club or taking a trip to the place where your favorite book is set. Or, if your schedule won’t allow you to drop everything and read, we’ve got options. Even the busiest book lovers can participate with these tiny ways to celebrate National Reading Month.

Some of these ideas involve actual reading, while others are ways to support your local bookish community, engage with your favorite stories, and share your love of books with others. No act is too small to spread the literary love. If you haven’t already hopped aboard the 2024 Read Harder Challenge, now is a great time to start. You’ve still got ten months to expand your reading horizons by taking on twenty-four reading prompts. Find plenty of recommendations for books that fit the challenge in the Read Harder Newsletter.

Visit Your Local Library

When’s the last time you took a stroll through the stacks at your local library? March is the perfect time to remind yourself of all the amazing — and FREE — books and other resources they have to offer. A lot of libraries also plan their own activities to celebrate National Reading Month. If you don’t have a library card or let yours lapse, consider this your sign to sign up. Because…


Buy a Book From Your Local Independent Bookstore

Indie bookstores are so much more than just a place to find a new book. They’re community centers, supporters of authors and readers, change makers, and so much more. But also…They sell books! Help keep your local independent bookstore thriving by picking up a new book or twelve this National Reading Month.

Read a Short Story

A small way to fit more reading into your month: short stories! Commit to reading a short story each day of March, and you’ll find lots of new worlds and characters to explore. You can choose a collection by a single author like the new posthumously published book Neighbors and Other Stories by Diane Oliver, an anthology of stories by multiple authors like The Best American Short Stories 2023 edited by Min Jin Lee, or find a wide variety of short stories on the vast literary internet. Here are 18 short stories you can read free online to get you started.

Post a Shelfie

Show off your excellent taste in books by posting a picture of your bookshelf on social media. Or if your bookshelf is a little too chaotic to be a point of pride, try curating a stack of your favorite books to share with your followers. It doesn’t take long to snap a cute pic, and it can help spread the love for your most treasured titles — or maybe help you find your bookish soulmate.


Loan a Book to a Friend

Loaning books is my love language. There’s nothing more satisfying than sharing a story I love with a person I love. And when that person loves the book too? That’s magic. If you’re too protective of your books (or your friends are too chaotic to keep your books safe), buy them their own copy as a gift.

Read a Book Aloud

There’s something extra special about enjoying the written word by reading it out loud. This National Reading Month, read a picture book to kids. Read a passage from your favorite funny book to a friend. Read a romantic poem to a lover. Or just try reading a few paragraphs from your current book out loud to yourself. You’ll be surprised by how differently it hits!

Donate to a Bookish Non-Profit

Spread the reading love by making a donation to a book-centered non-profit. There are plenty of excellent organizations focused on access to books and literacy. We’ve got a list of eight great choices here. Alternatively, look for smaller organizations in your community where your dollars might go further, or donate books to a school in your neighborhood.

Take a Book on a Date

Show your book some love by taking it somewhere nice! Take your latest read to the park for a sunny outdoor reading session, or settle in with your book at your favorite bar. A change of scenery can make reading even more fun. And if anyone tries to give you guff for reading in public? Tell them all about your love of National Reading Month!

Wear Your Best Bookish Swag

March is the best time to pull out your favorite clothes, accessories, and home goods that show off your love of books. Use those bookstore-branded tote bags! Wear that cute library love T-shirt! Drink from your reading pride mug! Light those book-themed candles for a little ambiance! If you could use some new goodies for book lovers, we’ve got you covered.

Eat a Dish from Your Favorite Book

Immerse yourself in the world of your favorite book by eating a dish featured in the story. It can be as easy as making a tomato sandwich like Harriet the Spy‘s favorite lunch or as all-out as planning a whole feast from The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook. Or read a book that includes recipes and try the dishes out for yourself. I recommend Mia Manansala’s cozy restaurant-set mystery Arsenic and Adobo or the powerful new foodie memoir Slow Noodles, full of author Chantha Nguon’s Cambodian family recipes.


Spruce Up a Little Free Library

Little Free Libraries are such a lovely way to share books with your community. If you’ve been thinking about building your own, there’s no better time than National Reading Month! But a fun way to support Little Free Libraries with no construction required is sprucing up a neglected LFL in your neighborhood. Give it a quick wipe down, organize the books inside, throw out any super damaged books (and that LSAT study guide from 2003), and restock it with your own stack of books. Your reading neighbors will thank you.

Get Crafty with Bookmarks

If you love a good craft project, celebrate National Reading Month by making some fresh new bookmarks! Since a bookmark can really be anything relatively flat and non-sticky, the sky’s the limit. But if you need some inspiration, we’ve got some DIY bookmark ideas for you, or keep it simple and design printable bookmarks on Canva.

Subscribe to a Bookish Newsletter

March can just be the start of your bookish year if you sign up for a new newsletter to keep you in the know. We’ve got a whole host of interesting newsletters here at Book Riot, from genre-specific missives in the world of romance, fantasy, and mystery/thrillers to newsletters on literary activism and bookish breaking news, plus so much more. Alternatively, see which of your favorite authors offer newsletters. It’s a great way to keep up with the literary world and hear about new books you might love.

We hope this list helped you find some tiny yet powerful ways to celebrate National Reading Month!

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