World Book and Copyright Day – 23 April

World Book and Copyright Day – 23 April

World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on April 23rd, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.

The UNESCO Member States around the world celebrate the power of books to bring us together and transmit the culture of peoples and their dreams of a better future. It is an opportunity to highlight the power of books to promote our vision of knowledge societies.

This day provides an opportunity to reflect together on ways to better disseminate the culture of the written word and to allow all individuals, men, women, and children to access it, through literacy programs and support for careers in publishing, book shops, libraries, and schools.

Books are our allies in spreading education, science, culture, and information worldwide. This is a source of inspiration in our collective efforts to promote editorial diversity and to protect intellectual property and equitable access to the wealth of books.

On this occasion, publishing houses, bookstores, libraries, cultural institutions, and associations of authors mobilize across the world to promote reading, publishing, and protection of intellectual property.

History of Book and Copyright Day

UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day in its General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone. The delegates voted to establish an annual occasion to carry the message of tolerance into the future, in the form of a day to celebrate books, authors, and the laws that protect them.

April 23 is a symbolic date in world literature. It was on April 23rd, 1616, litterateur and author William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Inca Garci Lasso de la Vega passed away. This is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla, and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

For this reason, UNESCO’s General Conference chose this date to pay tribute to books, the authors who wrote them, and the copyright laws that protect them. The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George’s Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold.

In Catalonia, a region of Spain, April 23 is known as La Diada de Sant Jordi (St George’s Day) and it is traditional for sweethearts to exchange books and roses. World Book and Copyright Day have been held annually since 1995.

Each year a poster is designed and distributed around the world. It features images designed to encourage people, particularly children, to read books and appreciate literature. Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry such as publishers, booksellers, and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.

April 23 was proclaimed as World Book and Copyright Day by UNESCO in 1995 and is observed by millions of people in over 100 countries.

World Books Capital 2024

Since 2001 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), chooses a World Book Capital. The aim is to make the city’s entire population, including migrants and refugees exposed to Books and book-reading. The city of Strasbourg is the World Book Capital for the year 2024.

Purpose of Book and Copyright day

“When you open a book, you open a new world”

A book communicates knowledge, and not only knowledge but the wisdom of all kinds. Books play an important role in our day-to-day life. So we have to read books to makes our exercise more efficient. Greatly, Good books improve our standard of living style. And they tone up our intellectual taste they make our outlook broad. They console us when we are depressed.

World Book and Copyright Day is an occasion to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors and to encourage people to discover the pleasure of reading. It is hoped that this will lead to the renewed respect for those who have made irreplaceable contributions to social and cultural progress. In some years, the UNESCO Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance is awarded. It is also hoped that World Book and Copyright Day will increase people’s understanding of and adherence to copyright laws and other measures to protect intellectual copyright. The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to the pleasures of books and reading.

What Do People Do?

A range of activities to promote reading and the cultural aspects of books are held all over the world. Many of these emphasize international cooperation or friendships between countries. Events include relay readings of books and plays; the distribution of bookmarks; the announcement of the winners of literary competitions; and actions to promote the understanding of laws on copyright and the protection of authors’ intellectual property.

Suggested Read: World English Language Day

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.