Today 23rd April is celebrated as the International Day of the Book worldwide. This day is also called World Book and Copyright Day or simply World Book Day. This day is celebrated every year with a specific theme across the world organized by UNESCO. ‘To share a story’ has been chosen as this year’s theme keeping in mind the sense of isolation, loneliness, anxiety caused by COVID-19 and to have been able to connect with each other through storytelling and sharing.
We all know the importance and benefits of book reading. Books are like window to the world outside all the time and happen to be only window during this pandemic. This day was conceptualized to be celebrated as World Book Day to encourage and promote book reading along with book publishing and intellectual property rights and copy rights.
For more than ever, we have realized the importance of reading books during our lockdown days to stay mentally and psychologically active and healthy. Despite of social distancing we can connect through the story told in the books, we can travel in our imagination to whatever places we want to, we can expand our horizons breaking the four walls of our homes holding and reading a book. First World Book Day was celebrated in 1995. This year world book day is going to be 25 years old.
23rd April was chosen to be celebrated as International Day of the Book because some prominent writers have born and also died in this particular day. William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Josep Pla died on April 23, Manuel Mejia Vallejo and Maurice Druon were born on April 23.
This day is celebrated in various ways in different countries. Making sculptures in the form of books, performing reading in the streets, arranging book fair, reading campaigns like “5 minutes reading campaign” etc. are some of them.
Apart from these, as a celebration for this year’s World’s Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO has created a Book Face Challenge. People are posing with different book covers and sharing in the social media. Some of the photos can be found in UNESCO Youth facebook page.
Every year a particular city is announced as the World Book Capital by UNESCO for this day. This year the capital and largest city of Georgia, Tbilisi has been announced as the world book capital. Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading and to organize activities over the year.
There are some other international days like International Children’s Book Day, World Intellectual Property Day etc. which are celebrated more or less in the same manner like International Day of the Book.
Happy Reading for this Day. For all days.