World Book Day being celebrated across the world
Book lovers, publishers, and libraries across the world are celebrating the 22nd annual World Book Day today by organizing seminars and book-gifting programmes. Telenor India launched 'Book for Smiles', a book collection campaign in which its employees supported the noble cause by donating books. UNESCO's theme for 2016 is the power of books to nourish creativity and advance dialogue between men and women.
World Book Day, or International Day of the Book, is an annual event conducted by the UNESCO-United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. On the 23rd of April, every year, the World Book Day is celebrated to promote reading, publishing and copyright. However, in some countries, the occasion is adjusted according to their convenience, so that it doesn't clash with any other special day.
The day, 23 April, was first chosen in Catalonia, Spain in 1923. Valencian writer, Vicente Clavel Andrés initially chose the day as a way to honor the author Miguel de Cervantes, who died on 23 April 1616. UNESCO first celebrated the day on 23 April 1995, as the date is also the death anniversary of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and William Shakespeare.
23 April was chosen by the UNESCO as the date is either the birth or death of many other prominent writers and authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
At the General Conference of UNESCO, held in Paris (1995), the organization decided to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors. UNESCO encouraged everyone to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for those who contributed to literature. Since 1995, UNESCO and other concerned international organizations selected a 'World Book Capital' for a one-year period in recognition of its programme.
World Book Capitals promote reading among their people and also the underprivileged sections of the population. For 2016, Wroclaw, Poland had been chosen as the '2016 World Book Capital' in 2014.
Director General-UNESCO Irina Bokova said it's important to celebrate the day at a time when the freedom of expression is continuously attacked, culture is threatened, and rising intolerance challenges world diversity. She stated that in tumultuous times, books can conjure the realities and imagination of the world. She added that books could become the voice of tolerance and understanding to drive the world forward.
Google celebrated the 2016 World Book Day by displaying a doodle with a collection of William Shakespeare's works across the doodle and an illustration of the 'Bard of Avon' in the middle.