Friday, April 23, is World Book Day, a great excuse to give a book to someone, or the someones, you love. This year’s theme is “To Share a Story.”
World Book Day celebrates William Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23) in over 100 countries. It’s a day to revel in the joy of reading, often commemorated by gifting a book to someone close to you. April 23 also is St. George’s Day, traditionally honored in countries such as Spain, for example, with the exchange of gifts, including books and roses, between friends and family, and even colleagues.
Also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, World Book Day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 to promote reading for fun. As World Book Day founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck, recalls â€œWe wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then â€“ that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives.â€
In the UK, thanks to National Book Tokens, book publishers and booksellers, World Book Day, in partnership with schools all over the country, now distributes more than 15 million Â£1 World Book Day book tokens to children and young people (thatâ€™s almost one for every child/young person under 18 in the UK and Ireland).
In the UK, they also celebrate World Book Night with readings, conversations, and other literary events. Why not keep the party going a full 24 hours?