What is World Book Day?



Mon, 23 Apr 2018 - 09:31 GMT


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 - 09:31 GMT

World Book Day 2018 theme - Courtesy of UNESCO.

World Book Day 2018 theme - Courtesy of UNESCO.

CAIRO – 23 April 2018: Monday marks World Book Day celebrated annually on April 23 by over 100 countries; it marks the celebration of reading and honors authors across the globe.

This annual ritual was first organized in 1995 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a symbolic date for world literature. On this date in 1616; two legends of world literature, Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare died and it is also the date of birth of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

In 2018, World Book Day’s theme is “Reading, it’s my right!” commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that includes “the freedom of expression and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.” It aims to support literacy and the joys of reading, to provide an opportunity to raise public awareness of books and reading and to pay tribute to authors in the book industry.

Furthermore, on this occasion countries around the world focus on getting kids closer to books and reading, and letting them explore and discover new areas of interest while they build a broader vocabulary through reading and increase their knowledge and understanding of other cultures. By championing literacy and books the world stands for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge and public sharing of ideas in literature.

Every year, a major celebration event takes place at UNESCO Headquarters. Booksellers, publishing companies and artists are invited to share their passion for books and reading by conducting practical workshops (typography, illustration, bookbinding, manga, etc.) for the young. UNESCO sincerely invites you to embark on this journey with us and cherish books as the valuable tool for knowledge-sharing, mutual understanding and openness to a diversified world.

On her message on the occasion of World Book Day 2018; Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay said, “When we celebrate books, we celebrate activities – writing, reading, translating, publishing – which help individuals to raise and fulfill themselves; and we celebrate, in a fundamental way, the freedoms that make them possible.”

Athens; the World Book Capital 2018

Each year since 2000, the UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, starting April 23 each year. According to the UN; almost all the regions of the world, in turn, have been involved in this process as a way to transform the celebration of books into a recurrent activity and to extend the geographical and cultural influence of books.

For 2018, the city of Athens was chosen as the World Book Capital for the quality of its programs to support by the entire book industry including publishing which facilitated access to books for the city’s entire population, including migrants and refugees.
For 2019, Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) was named World Book Capital for proposing a comprehensive and inclusive program of a large population of migrants.
To learn more about celebrations and events around the world visit the hashtag #WorldBookDay



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