Today is an exciting day for book lovers all around the world. April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, and in the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.
It’s also World Book Night here in the United States (as well as in the UK and Ireland), which will see “tens of thousands” of people take to the streets, handing out free paperbacks to spread “the joy and love of reading.” For more on World Book Night, of which several of our members are taking part, click here.
According to their website, UNESCO chose April 23 because it is “symbolic date for world literature, as April 23, 1616 was the date of death of Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. April 23 is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel MejÃa Vallejo.”
UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. By celebrating this day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.
So give a book to that special someone today. And if you see somebody passing out paperbacks in a crowded public space, thank them for spreading the joy of books in your community.