This year marks the 20th anniversary of World Book Day, which promotes the value of reading and literature. Created by the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, the goal is to donate, buy, and spread awareness of the importance of reading. In the spirit of World Book Day, we’re sharing a few great book recommendations and some tips on how to embrace the world of literature this spring.

  1. Access to Asia

Build trust, inspire respect, and create long-lasting relationships. Through Access to Asia, you’ll gain cultural knowledge and insight into 10 Asian countries. For international business travelers or tourists, this informative read will prepare you for your Asian endeavors. By targeting the various cultural phenomena that help business professionals and world travelers navigate the nuanced cultures across the Asian continent, Schweitzer writes an informative piece on the cultural, legal, and ethnic diversity.  

  1. The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins delivers a vivid, psychological thriller of a young woman who takes the same train everyday. As the train passes urban neighborhoods, the woman observes the residents in such detail that she soon feels like she knows them.  During one ride she witnesses a shocking event that causes her to be more involved in their lives than she expected. The Girl on the Train will keep the reader on their toes, anxious to find out what comes next.

  1. Me Before You

Sappy romances have a large fanbase, it’s nice to sit down on the couch and read a nice love story. Moyes successfully writes a novel which tugs at the heartstrings but also delivers some good wit and humor. A novel that brushes on life, death, and love, Me Before You artfully reconciles difficult subjects with light-hearted relationship content.

  1. Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace, one of the greatest authors of our time, writes one of the most critically acclaimed novels ever written. The novel runs parallel with Foster Wallace’s own life and is about the expectations of someone who has a lot of knowledge in a certain subject. It follows the life of a tennis prodigy through all the hardships and embarrassments involved with being seen as ‘a legend.’ Although the novel is quite dense, running 1,079 pages long, it’s definitely worth a read. Foster Wallace masterfully articulates the darkest, most complex thoughts of mankind and takes his readers on an riveting introspective journey. If you want to read a novel that delves into the minds of the characters, you just might get a small glimpse into Foster Wallace’s own psyche.  

Imagine a world without words – it’s almost impossible. Literature has proven to be an important aspect of life that we tend to take for granted. In fact, in the United States 32 million adults can’t read – which is the equivalent of 14 percent of the population. Encouraging children to get into the habit of reading in their spare time will not only close the illiteracy gap, but also encourage positive thinking and improve their vocabulary. Experts affirm that up to 15% of all the words in our vocabulary are learned through reading.

According to Business Insider, the most successful people in the world make time to read, study, and learn far beyond their grade school years.
Many of us say we don’t have extra time to sit down and open a book from our busy lives. Therefore, reading a book moves lower and lower on our to-do list. Instead of trying to make time for it, carry a book with you, whether it’s in your car or your bag. When you have spare time, you’re ready to read. If you’re waiting for your dry-cleaning or in a long line at the car wash, you just found that cherished reading time.

Sharon Schweitzer co-wrote this post with Paola Guevara. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Paola Guevara is a Spring 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She’s lived in Mexico, France, and different states throughout the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. She currently attends St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas studying International Business with a focus in French. Connect with her via  Linkedin.