World Book And Copyright Day
April 23 every year is celebrated as World Book and Copyright Day. Sometimes, it’s called World Book Day, or International Day of the Book. The focus of the day is to promote reading, publishing, and copyrighting.
World Book and Copyright Day celebrate all things book-related: writing, reading, translating, and publishing.
World Book and Copyright Day are observed by millions of people in more than 100 countries, in hundreds of voluntary organizations, schools, public bodies, professional groups, and private businesses. Over the years, the day has won over a considerable number of people from every continent and all cultural backgrounds to the cause of books and copyright. Books are seen as windows into the diversity of cultures and are used to initiate dialogue.
World Book and Copyright Day is an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. World Book Day was first celebrated on April 23, 1995, and continues to be recognized on that day.
The original idea was a way to honor the author Miguel de Cervantes on 23 April, his death date. In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.
Organizers of World Book and Copyright day say, “It is our duty, everywhere in the world, to protect these freedoms and to promote reading and writing in order to fight illiteracy and poverty and to strengthen the foundations of peace, as well as to protect the publishing-related professions and professionals.”
23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It 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.
It 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, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. With this in mind, UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day. The Day is celebrated by a growing number of partners and since its launch has shown itself to be a great opportunity for reflection and information on a significant theme.
It is observed by millions of people in over 100 countries, in hundreds of voluntary organizations, schools, public bodies, professional groups and private businesses. In this lengthy period, World Book and Copyright Day has won over a considerable number of people from every continent and all cultural backgrounds to the cause of books and copyright. It has enabled them to discover, make the most of and explore in greater depth a multitude of aspects of the publishing world: books as vectors of values and knowledge, and depositories of the intangible heritage; books as windows onto the diversity of cultures and as tools for dialogue; books as sources of material wealth and copyright-protected works of creative artists. All of these aspects have been the subject of numerous awareness-raising and promotional initiatives that have had a genuine impact. There must nevertheless be no let-up in these efforts.
Since 2000, World Book and Copyright Day has inspired another initiative of professional organizations which receives the assistance of UNESCO and backing from States: World Book Capital City. Each year a city is chosen which undertakes to maintain, through its own initiatives, the impetus of the Day’s celebrations until 23 April of the following year. Almost all the regions of the world, in turn, have already been involved in this process, which thus transforms the celebration of books and copyright into a recurrent activity, extending still further the geographical and cultural influence of books.
Over recent years, the World Day has shown that it can be a potent symbol for the launch of major support operations, in particular in Latin America and Africa.