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One Book
By the time the movie One Day began filming, the novel One Day was already a bestseller around the world. It had been sold for publication in 31 different languages – a rarely reached benchmark for a book these days – and would go to #1 on the bestseller lists in the U.K., Italy, and Sweden; #2 on Germany's; and #3 on Russia's.

When the book was first published in June 2009 in the U.K. by Hodder & Stoughton, David Nicholls' novel was heartily embraced by reviewers and the public. Becoming a must-read, it hit #1 first on the hardcover and later on the paperback Sunday Times bestseller charts. The novel won the Galaxy National Book Award for Popular Fiction Book of the Year. To date, nearly 400,000 copies have been sold in the U.K.

One Day was published in the U.S. as a trade paperback original in June 2010 by Vintage Books, an imprint of Random House, Inc.'s Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Word of mouth had already spread across the pond, and the novel commenced a 12-week stint on The New York Times Trade Paperback Fiction Bestseller list, rising to the #4 position. There currently are 600,000 copies in print of the Vintage paperback and e-book editions.

Writing in The New York Times, Janet Maslin noted that the book had become the "no- Sweden, no-vampire fiction hit of the summer.”

Rave reviews accrued through year's end, as The New York Times Book Review named the novel among the 100 Notable Books of 2010; Entertainment Weekly named it one of "The [10] Best Fiction [Books] of the Year,” with Henry Goldblatt citing it as "a luscious, beautiful, and ultimately devastating portrait of two soul mates;” and the book also made best-of lists from Barnes & Noble and Amazon, among others.

The latter site hosted numerous reviews from readers who had never posted one prior. Many readers confessed to have read the book in, appropriately enough, one day. Nicholls states that the book "is not autobiographical, though of course I have my own memories of the two decades that we follow Em and Dex through.

"I wanted to convey the intimacy of leafing through a photo album, and the emotions that each snapshot calls forth. In this telling, the snapshot is that one day – July 15th – of a year. You're much the same at 23 and 43 – and yet you are so very different.”

The book has, he notes, "appealed to people both younger and older than myself. They have identified with it, and that's been a great surprise and delight to me, as it's quite a personal book and a personal story. But people have written to me, ‘I have my own Dexter, and the book made me get in touch with him again,' or ‘I have my own Emma, and I'm married to her.' I believe that people have responded to this story because there hasn't been a years-spanning romance like this in a while.

"I hope people who have enjoyed the book will love the film as well. My two big loves growing up were books and films, and it's always been hard to separate the two.” St. Swithin's Day

The "one day” of the book, the film, and Dexter and Emma's love and lives is July 15th, which is also the date of St. Swithin's Day.

In British folklore, there is a rhyme that reads; St Swithin's day if thou dost rain For forty days it will remain St Swithin's day if thou be fair For forty days ‘twill rain no more

The feast day of St. Swithin (sometimes written as St. Swithun) falls every year on July 15th. Legend has it that if it rains on that day, then it will rain every day for forty days; and that if the sun shines on that day, then the weather will be beautiful for forty days. The legend is rooted in a real man; St. Swithin himself was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop at Winchester Cathedral in the ninth century AD. Although tradition dictated his being buried inside Winchester Cathedral, he was a humble man; on his deathbed, he asked if he could be buried in the churchyard so that the rain could fall on him and so that people could walk close to him. Although his wishes were initially respected, nine years after his death the body was moved to a shrine within the Cathedral. His displeasure was registered when a massive storm broke and continued for forty days. The legend began, and endures to this day.

David Nicholls adds, "I was also inspired by Billy Bragg's fine song ‘St. Swithin's Day,' which I first heard back in the 1980s.”

Production on One Day began in July 2010; filming progressed through St. Swithin's Day and into the weeks beyond.

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