The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has marked 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day, also known as World Book Day.
The day is celebrated in over a hundred countries around the world. 23 April is also the day legendary writers- Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and William Shakespeare died. The UN agency’s decision also aims to honor these authors.
23 April or World Book Day aims to promote reading, writing novels and stories, translating, publishing and copyright.
History and Significance of World Book Day
The World Book Day was first observed by UNESCO on 23 April, 1995, as a worldwide celebration of books and reading and to encourage young people to discover the pleasure of reading.
The date holds a special significance as it marks the death anniversaries of two of the world’s greatest writers – William Shakespeare and prominent Spanish chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote the founding novel of Western Literature also died on 22 April.
Besides, it also celebrates the birth of authors like Maurice Druon, Halldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov and Manuel Mejía Vallejo and the death of Josep Pla.
Theme for World Book Day 2022
The theme for World Book Day 2022 is ‘Read…So you never feel alone.’
UNESCO on World Book Day
UNESCO aims to celebrate the occasion as a charitable purpose for more children, from all backgrounds, developing a life-long habit of reading for pleasure, benefiting from the improved life chances the event brings them.
UNESCO, in its message on World Book Day 2022, said that there is even greater need to cherish books –symbols of hope — in uncertain times.
“Books have long embodied the human capacity to conjure up worlds, both real and imagined, giving voice to the diversity of human experience,” it added. “They help us share ideas, obtain information, and inspire admiration for different cultures, enabling far-reaching forms of dialogue between people across space and time.”
“This date was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books,” the UN agency has said.
The agency added that stories are an “incredibly effective” tool for the education of younger generations.
UNESCO urged its partners to help amplify the message that books are a force to “address contemporary challenges, to understand political and economic realities, and to combat inequalities and misinformation”.
“With the active involvement of all stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world,” it added.