World Book Day 2019: History and Significance of the Day (April 23) for Celebrating Books and Reading
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On April 23, bibliophiles across the world gather to mark an important day, World Book Day. Also known as World Book and Copyright Day or International Day of the Book, this annual event is organised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). There are many reasons to observe this day; one of them is to promote reading, publishing and copyrights. It is the global celebration of the books and readings observed in more than 100 countries. As mentioned earlier, there are many established histories behind celebrating the World Book Day on an annual basis on international level worldwide. Hence, on the occasion of World Book Day 2019, let us explore the significance associated with the worldwide celebration on April 23. Some of The Greatest English Books Ever Written, How Many Have You Read?

Usually, World Book Day is celebrated by the authors, illustrators, to encourage reading among the common public. People who love to read books and want to inculcate the habit of reading among the upcoming generation, they must read all the important information about this day.

World Book Day History

The original idea to observe World Book Day was conceived by Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andres as a way to honour the renowned author, Miguel de Cervantes, first on his birth anniversary, October 7 and then on April 23, his death anniversary. In 1995, UNESCO decided that World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on April 23, since the date is also the death anniversary of prominent writers William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. The date also matched as the birth or death of several other famous authors.

However, there is a slight twist here. As per historical coincidence, Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date April 23, 1616, but not on the day. At the time, Spain used the Gregorian calendar, and England referred to the Julian calendar. As of Gregorian calendar, Shakespeare died ten days later after Cervantes, on May 3. From ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ to ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’, 7 Best Books to Read for Teens and Kids. 

World Book Day Significance

When in 1995, UNESCO decided April 23 to be observed as World Book Day, many lauded the approach at the General Conference which was held in Paris, in 1995. The worldwide member states of the UNESCO observes this event each year to promote the power of books among people in order to bring them together as well as circulate variety of cultures to other people It is also a significant day to promote education and the importance of reading books among the younger ones as well as people living in the underprivileged sections.

In many different ways, World Book Day is celebrated. While some schools organise quick reading sessions and competitions, other organisations share numerous ideas creating eagerness among readers about the authors and other important things. UNESCO will also conduct a variety of programmes on the international level by the UNESCO National Commissions, clubs, centres, associations, libraries, schools and other educational institutions.