D.E.A.R. Day Date in the current year: April 12, 2024

D.E.A.R. Day Drop Everything and Read Day, commonly referred to as simply D.E.A.R. Day, is celebrated annually on April 12. It was created to remind people of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives.

D.E.A.R. Day was established in 2006 by HarperCollin’s Children’s Books in collaboration with several educational institutions, including the National Education Association, to commemorate the 90th birthday of Beverly Cleary, a popular American author of books for children and young adults.

Beverly Cleary (née Bunn) was born on April 12, 1916 in McMinnville, Oregon. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a second bachelor’s degree in library science from the University of Washington, she worked as a librarian before becoming a full-time writer.

Cleary’s first book, Henry Higgins, was a response to the boys in her library searching for books “about kids like us”. Published in 1950, it started a series of novels about the life of an ordinary boy named Henry Higgins, his dog Risby, his friend Beezus Quimby, and her younger sister Ramona. Clary’s books quickly became popular among school-aged children due to their lighthearted, humorous portrayal of everyday events and problems faced in real life by boys and girls.

During her prolific career that spanned over half a century, Cleary published more than 35 books for children and young adults, as well as two memoirs. She was the recipient of a number of awards and accolades, including the National Medal of Arts and recognition as a Library of Congress Living Legend.

D.E.A.R. Day was created to highlight Cleary’s contribution to children’s literature and to promote silent, sustained reading as a school activity. The name of the day was inspired by D.E.A.R. time, a reading practice consisting of a 30-minute reading session mentioned in Cleary’s Ramona book series. Over time, the focus of D.E.A.R Day has shifted to simply promoting reading as a fun and educational activity for children and adults alike.

The best way to celebrate D.E.A.R. Day is to, well, drop everything and read a book! You don’t have to spend the entire day reading; squeezing half an hour of reading into your schedule will do. Many schools and libraries across the nation host D.E.A.R. Day activities, which can be a really fun experience, and you should definitely look them up if you have time to spare.

Other ways to celebrate include reading to your children, niblings or young cousins, taking up a reading challenge, which should help you create dedicated time for reading, joining a book club or starting your own, splurging on some new books for yourself and/or your children, or gifting someone your favorite book to get them interested in reading.

Since its inception, D.E.A.R. Day has expanded into a month-long celebration that lasts all April because it takes time to successfully build a new habit and make reading a regular part of your routine. So go ahead and pledge to read at least a couple of pages every day; we understand that it is not always possible to drop whatever you’re doing to read, but you can and should make reading a part of your life.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Cultural Observances



D.E.A.R. Day, Drop Everything and Read Day, cultural observances, observances in the US, Beverly Cleary