WITH children playing video games and watching films more than ever, World Book Day will try to put reading back on the map.

The annual event, to be held in less than two weeks, will bring together a number of school visits and fun activities for children.

“This year’s theme is Aladdin, taken from the book One Thousand and One Nights,” said Gibraltar Cultural Services.

“This collection of stories includes the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, Shahrazad, and Ali Baba.”

The Book Crossing and Book Fair held at the Lower Exhibition Room in John Mackintosh Hall will open from 10am.

Here you will be able to pick up a book for free or take part in the exchange where you bring a book and take another.

Later on, the John Mackintosh Library in the same complex will come to life with a storytelling session for children.

Theatre group, White Light Company and JF Dance will put on performances on the Aladdin theme.

These afternoon sessions at 4.30pm and 5.15pm are open to the public with children encouraged to come dressed as their favourite book character.

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DRESSING UP: A teacher reads to students at the old Bayside School

The drive to promote bookreading comes after computers and mobile devices have taken over as the main entertainment for children.

“In this digital age books are often left to one side as children might prefer a video game or downloaded movie,” said John Cortes, Minister for Culture.

“We need to keep encouraging the reading of books, and this event involving children is a great, fun way of doing so.”

World Book Day is an UNESCO charity dedicated to thecelebration of books and reading’.

Similar events will take place in the UK and over 100 countries around the world on March 5.

Six Fun Facts about books

  • Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is surprisingly the world’s highest selling book, with 200 million copies sold in the last 150 years.
  • A Tale of Two Cities is followed by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as the second most selling book ever.
  • J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter is the biggest-selling novel series of all time with an estimated 450 million copies of her seven novels being sold around the world.
  • As of 2010, there were over 129 million books in existence according to Google.
  • Bill Gates purchased the most expensive book ever for $30.8 million, Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) is thought to be the first book written using a typewriter.

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