National Book Lovers’ Day

Friday was National Book Lovers’ Day. Have you ever wondered who determines all these “national” days? Who decides what’s worthy and what isn’t? How do they pick the date?

Not that I’m dissing National Book Lovers’ Day. Any book celebration is a going to get my vote. But I always thought it was an act of Congress to get a national day declared. Not so much anymore.

Congress stopped getting involved in those decisions a while back. Now, if you want to declare a day—just do it! You don’t need permission. The term national doesn’t mean they have been approved by the government.

A federal holiday is another matter. Those are an act of Congress and only four have been declared in the last 100 years. A key difference is the day off work for government employees that go hand in hand with a federal holiday. A 1999 Congressional Research Service report found that federal holidays cost taxpayers about $200 million per day. No wonder they are holding those tight.

If you want more reach for your special day, you can go to and put in an application to get a special day declared on their website and calendars. It’s really all about marketing.

That doesn’t necessarily make it less fun. Actually, it makes me feel a little better to know Congress isn’t really spending time on National Donut Day when they should be doing other things.

If you could declare a national day, what would it be? My vote is for dragons, but Donita Paul already declared January 16th as Appreciate a Dragon Day. I’ll start planning my celebration now!