From the Executive Director

I still remember when I was five, running next door to my friend’s house to find out what he got for BookSunday. It was then that I discovered there was no national holiday dedicated to books. I realized that only my family celebrated that special day. Now I’m asking you to help me change that.

In the 1950’s, my parents created a new holiday — BookSunday. They knew that a book could never compete as an exciting gift against the latest toy or gadget. So rather than letting books be tossed aside like a package of socks from Grandma, they invented a new holiday where all the gifts were books. And BookSunday became a day I looked forward to as much as Christmas or my birthday.

My father, George Cochran, died in 2009 and my mother, Mary Jane Cochran, died in 2018. They’re both shown in the photo with my older brother and sister in 1955. My mom is shown next enjoying a new book on her 90th Birthday!

Many of my BookSunday books have unfortunately been lost over the years due to flooded basements, lost shipments, hungry rodents and just plain overuse. But I still have a special few from many years ago, and it always gives me a warm feeling when I see the handwritten inscription on the first page: “Happy Book Sunday! Love, Mom & Dad.” Now that they’re both gone, it’s one of my favorite reminders of the time we shared together.

It got me thinking about how holidays are created. Mother’s Day was brought into existence through the efforts of one person – Ann Jarvis. She began her campaign in 1905 when her mother died. By 1911, she had convinced all of the states to recognize Mother’s Day. And then in 1914, Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it a national holiday. (Father’s Day took a bit longer starting in 1910 and not getting an official proclamation until 1972!)

That history made me realize that a wonderful way to memorialize my parents would be to make BookSunday a recognized holiday. What better way to celebrate their lives and their belief in the infinite power of reading than spreading the joy of BookSunday to people across the country!

So let’s make sure the nation understands how vital books are to life! And that books deserve their own holiday! Help me make sure that kids across the nation are able to run next door on the Second Sunday of March and ask their friends’ what they got for BookSunday!

Thanks for reading,
Kevin Cochran
Executive Director