2021’s World Book Day theme is ‘share a story’. We’re a team of book lovers at Readable. We’ve answered a handful of questions on a book we’ve read and loved recently, including standout quotes. 

Dave’s glumptious book choice

I've picked Roald Dahl's The BFG, which I'm reading to my girls at the moment. It was a favourite of mine when I was small, and now I get to enjoy it with them all over again!

World Book Day: Readable founder Dave Child on reading to children | Readable, free readability test

What was your favourite part of the book?

My favourite part is the wonderful meal the BFG and the Queen have together. But we're not there yet on this reading, and my favourite moment reading this with my daughters so far was their eyes lighting up at the description of the BFG's dream bottles.

What did you think of the writing? Are there any standout sentences?

Absolutely glumptious writing. The girls don't understand half of the words the BFG uses - who does? - but there isn't so much of that that they can't follow along. The invented language is so compelling they've been running around jabbeling about frobscottle and whizzpoppers (both, along with as many other words as I can remember, are no longer considered errors by Readable).

If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?

I think I'd want to know if Dahl ever considered how dark some of his stories actually are. There's little doubt the Twits deserved a comeuppance, but death by The Shrinks? James's aunts were terrible people, but is it really OK that they were squashed by a marauding peach? And don't get me started on the Chocolate Factory! 

That said, I think the giants got off lightly considering what they got up to in the witching hour.

Did reading the book impact your mood? If yes, how so?

I'm not sure it's possible for anyone with a soul to read The BFG and not be cheered up.

Natasha’s escapist read

My recent read for World Book Day is Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella.

World Book Day: Natasha Horrelt on reading for pleasure | Readable, free readability test

What was your favourite part of the book?

I really enjoyed the part when Lexi wakes up from a coma. She thinks it's still three years ago because she's lost her memory. When she wakes up she's in the perfect life. She's beautiful and has everything she's ever wanted. She reacts the way I think we all would! It's nice discovering that you now have everything you've ever dreamed of having. It's fun exploring a new life you didn't realise you had! 

What did you think of the writing? Are there any standout sentences?

I'll be honest. The idea for this novel isn't that original and the writing won't win any literary awards, but it's perfect for what it's meant to be. It's supposed to be an easy, lighthearted read and it fully delivers. It's reading for entertainment and not necessarily for deep reflection of any kind. It's escapism in its truest form.

Some of my favourite lines are: 

“Women need chocolate. It's a scientific fact.”

"You can't stay with people because of guilt. Or because they can drive a speedboat.”

“I’m suddenly seeing the other side of me; the side I thought had disappeared forever."

If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?

I would love to know more about Sophia's writing process. She's written quite a few best-selling books and I would be interested to hear about how she schedules her writing time. It would be loads of fun to shadow her for a day. I could run after her with tea and biscuits. Who wouldn't want that?

Did reading the book impact your mood? If yes, how so?

I read a lot of light fiction because I also read a lot of heavy non-fiction. For me, fiction is an escape. It doesn't have to be award-winning or particularly insightful. I like it to be fun with sweet twist. This book left me feeling happy. It was a pretty good reminder that perfect isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

Laura’s non-fiction pick

World Book Day is a gentle reminder for me to get stuck into a good novel this month. Recently, my reading has been more in the realm of books about writing. My recent read is Madness, Rack & Honey by Mary Ruefle. 

World Book Day: Laura Kelly on writing about writing | Readable, free readability test

What was your favourite part of the book?

The lecture ‘On Secrets’. It encapsulates what Ruefle does in this whole collection. It’s not your regular book on writing and reading poetry - it goes beyond teaching you metre and form you may already know. In her piece on secrets, she discusses anything from Victoria’s Secret posters to fortune cookies to the human heart. All to make us think about poetry in a different way. She is unique. 

What did you think of the writing? Are there any standout sentences?

The writing is creative and unlike any lecture I’ve ever attended. Perhaps because she doesn’t like writing talks. There are so many great lines in the book, but here’s just one that’s charming: 

‘If you are trying to fly, stop it. Just watch under your arms for signs of wings, and if they sprout, even if you can’t ever make it off the ground, say you are a turkey — well, that is an interesting thing. Of course you may be a lark, and that would be lucky. But in general pay attention to the wings, not to the sky.’

If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?

Mary Ruefle doesn’t own a computer - I would ask her if she ever owned a computer, or if she simply detested the idea. 

Did reading the book impact your mood? If yes, how so?

Yes. Is ‘seen’ an emotion? Her essay on Emily Dickinson and Emily Brontë seemed to express my affection for these two writers that I couldn’t put into words through two degrees. It actually made me quite emotional. I put a lot of graphite exclamation marks in the margins. I guess you’ll just have to read it to know what I mean.

Laura Kelly

Laura is a Marketing Executive at Readable. She loves coffee, literature, weightlifting and film photography.