World Book Day

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World Book Day
UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2012 poster.png
UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2012 poster
Official nameNational World Book Day
Also calledWND
Observed byAll UN Member States
DateApril 23

World Book Day[1] or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on April 23rd, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright. In the United Kingdom, the day is recognized on the first Thursday in March. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.

Date selection[edit]

The original idea was of the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes, first on 7 October, his birth date, then on 23 April, his death date. In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.[2] (In a historical coincidence, Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date — 23 April 1616 — but not on the same day, as at the time, Spain used the Gregorian calendar and England used the Julian calendar; Shakespeare actually died 10 days after Cervantes died, on 3 May of the Gregorian calendar.)

World Book Day by country[edit]

Forum on reading aloud held outside the campus library at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City for the occasion


Book Day is 23 April, the anniversary of Cervantes death, Don Quixote is read during a two-day "readathon" and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize is presented by the Spanish king in Alcalá de Henares.

In Catalonia, Spain, St. George's Day has been 'The Day of the Rose' since 1436, and involves the exchange of gifts between loved ones and respected people—it is analogous to Valentine's Day. Although World Book and Copyright Day has been celebrated since 1995 internationally, books were exchanged on 'The Day of the Rose' in Catalonia since 1929, in memory of Cervantes.[3]


In Sweden, the day is known as Världsbokdagen ("World Book Day") and the copyright aspect is seldom mentioned. Normally celebrated on 23 April, it was moved to 13 April in the year 2000[4] and 2011 to avoid a clash with Easter.[5]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, World Book Day is held annually on the first Thursday in March, as 23 April sometimes clashes with Easter school holidays; 23 April is also the National Saint's Day of England, St George's Day. A separate event, World Book Night, organized by independent charity The Reading Agency, is held on 23 April.

United States of America[edit]

In Kensington, Maryland the International Day of the Book is celebrated with a street festival on the Sunday closest to 26 April.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "What is World Book Day?". Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  2. ^ "World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April". Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  3. ^ "La Sant Jordi et le jour du livre". Generalitat de Catalunya (in French). 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013.
  4. ^ Världsbokdagen flyttas Archived 2012-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, Svensk Bokhandel, 22 October 1999
  5. ^ Världsbokdagen ”flyttas”, Dagens Nyheter, 11 November 2010.


External links[edit]