World Book and Copyright Day 2024: History & Significance

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World Book Day 2024

Organized by UNESCO, World Book and Copyright Day, also known as World Book Day, is a global observance celebrated every year on April 23. The day aims to encourage the importance of reading and writing on a global scale. Moreover, it also appreciates the prolific English literature authors and their contributions who left a mark on history. Reading books is important for students as it helps them improve their vocabulary, learn moral values, connect with the past, and increase general knowledge. 

Name of the DayWorld Book and Copyright Day
Observed onApril 23
Reason To promote reading, writing, publishing, and literature.
Theme 2024Read Your Way

History of World Book and Copyright Day

  • World Book and Copyright Day was officially observed in 1955.
  • However, the roots of this day were laid back in 1922 by Vicente Clavel Andres to honour a profound Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes.
  • UNESCO chose April 23 to pay tribute to the authors worldwide and encourage everyone to access books.
  • It is believed that the day serves as a link between the past and the future bridging the connection between generations and cultures.
  • UNESCO along with many international organizations come together to represent three major sectors of the book industry including Publishers, Booksellers, and Libraries to select the World Book Capital for the coming years to maintain the initiative and the impetus of the celebration.

Also Read: Importance of Reading Skills & Benefits

History of Books

Books did not always have glossy covers and smooth pages like they do today. Clay tablets were used when writing systems were developed in prehistoric civilizations thousands of years ago. Papyrus was later used by humanity. The first people to create something that resembled modern books in that it was made of numerous thick, bamboo pages stitched together were the Chinese in the third century.

Then, in the middle of the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, ushering in an era when books were easily accessible to anyone who wanted to read them. We are all able to enjoy Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and many other authors’ works in the comfort of our own homes today because of that brilliant invention. However, the association between that day and books was first made in Spain in 1923 because it marks the passing of both William Shakespeare and renowned Spanish chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

Why do we Celebrate World Book and Copyright Day on April 23?

Did you know that April 23 was specifically chosen to hold the celebrations of the World Book and Copyright Day? This is because it is the date on which numerous prominent authors of literature, such as William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes passed away. 

Additionally, UNESCO also decided on April 23 due to its General Conference held in Paris in 1995. It paid tribute to and commemorated authors and their exemplary books. 

Also Read: 30+ Must Read Motivational Books for Students

Why are there 2 Dates for World Book Day?

A Valencian author named Vicente Clavel Andrés first proposed having the day coincide with a celebration of Miguel de Cervantes. Either October 7 would be his birthday or April 23 would be his passing.

The latter date was picked because it coincided with the passing of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. In fact, a number of other well-known writers have also passed away on April 23; perhaps authors should avoid using this date!

Even though UNESCO was the organisation behind the creation of this day, some nations observe it on other days of the year. For instance, Sweden, the UK, and Ireland all hold their respective World Book Day celebrations on different days. However, since its inception in 1995, the international day has always been celebrated on the same day.

World Book Day 2024: Date and Theme

In the UK and Ireland, it is observed on 2 March this year. It takes place on 23 April in more than 100 other nations.

The theme for this year is “Read Your Way,”. This theme emphasizes the importance of choice and enjoyment in fostering a love of reading. However, it encourages both children and adults to find ways to engage with books that resonate with them, regardless of format or genre.

Books hold a special significance in our lives, providing the light of knowledge in the darkest days, guiding us through the toughest parts of our lives imparting wisdom on countless topics. World Book and Copyright Day signify the following aspects of books:

  • The day promotes reading culture around the world and encourages people to take up reading as a hobby and burst the stereotype of reading as a boring act. 
  • Books are the ultimate source of knowledge that imparts information and ideas to all. They are the most dependable source of knowledge and wisdom that could polish an amateur to becoming an expert 
  • The day also spreads awareness about the intellectual property of authors and encourages people to get access to books legally without infringing on the original, copyright material of other authors 

Also Read: World Civil Defence Day

Benefits of Reading Books

The following are the benefits of reading books:

  • It improves your linguistic skills including, grammar, sentence structure, usage of words and vocabulary 
  • Some studies have shown that reading books can make you feel empathetic as we tend to develop a connection with a character
  • Another great benefit of reading is it reduces your stress and anxiety levels and helps you get distracted from worries to focus more on the words written in it 
  • In this fast-paced world, everyone has compromised on their sleep schedule, reading a book at night before going to bed can inflict a positive effect on your mind as well as help you sleep faster 

Also Read: Importance of Books in our Life

Ways to Support World Book Day

Here are a few ways to support this day:

  • Shop at independent bookstores around the world. Some of our favourites in the United States are Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, Birchbark Books & Native Arts in Minneapolis, and Little City Books in Hoboken, all of which pay special attention to children’s books.
  • Donate used books to the public library in your area.
  • Give to book charities like Books for Africa, Libraries Without Borders, and Book Aid International, which all provide books to the underprivileged and libraries in refugee camps, hospitals, and schools. For U.S. K–5th-grade students and their classrooms, a different nonprofit organisation called Our Kids Read donates books with inspiring characters from various cultures, including Native American, Black, Hispanic, and Southeast Asian.
  • Invite your friends for a reading challenge, and contest with your friends as to who can read more books in a fixed duration of time. You can have book relay with yourself as well by picking up a book of a new genre every time.
Source: World Book Day

Online Events for World Book Day

Here are some online events for kids to participate in on this day. Check them out:

EventDate & TimeDescription
Teacher CPD: Preparing for World Book Day 2024January 17, 2024, 4:00 PM (Online)A professional development session for teachers on how to prepare for World Book Day.
Great World Book Day Footy & Booky Quiz 2024March 7, 2024, 9:30 AM (Online)A virtual quiz event for children combining football (soccer) and book trivia.
Bookseller Webinar: Celebrating World Book Day 2024Date & Time to be announcedA webinar for booksellers on how to celebrate World Book Day in their stores.

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Q1. What is the theme for World Book Day 2024?

Ans. The theme for this year is “Read Your Way,”. This theme emphasizes the importance of choice and enjoyment in fostering a love of reading. It also encourages both children and adults to find ways to engage with books that resonate with them, regardless of format or genre.

Q2. Why is World Book Day celebrated?

Ans. The purpose of World Book and Copyright Day is to encourage people to read and enjoy books. Every year on April 23, people celebrate the importance of books as a link between the past and the present, a bridge across generations, and a link across cultures.

Q3. Which country started World Book Day?

Ans. Spain. Every year on October 7, when Miguel de Cervantes was thought to have been born, Spain has celebrated Book Day since 1926.

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