World Book Day – Celebrating Reading and Writing
The World Book Day is being celebrated every year on April 23rd. Ever since UNESCO commemorated this day aiming to promote reading, publishing and copyright, across the world this day is celebrated with readings and thoughts about books and the role they play in our lives. Nonetheless there are some exceptions too. In UK the world book day is celebrated on every first Thursday of March (This year it was on Mar 2nd as we might notice in the poster shared here).
One might wonder why this day was selected to observe World book day. What’s so special about this day? We hear this day comes across as the Birth and Death anniversaries of many writers. This includes the most famous William Shakesphere (who died in 23rd April, 1616). The celebration on Books and reading has been borrowed from the Spanish culture. Miguel de Cervantes is a prominent Spanish literary figure. HE gave the world the classic ‘Don Quixote’. His death anniversary falls on 22nd April, much closer to this day. April 23rd is also celebrated in Spain as the ‘Rose Day’ where Spaniards greet each other with roses on this day. Later in remembrance of Cervantes, people began to offer books instead of roses on this day. Hence the World book day takes much of its inspiration from these Spanish connections.
In the world of books, besides reading, copyright issues is also an important area to address. Hence UNESCO takes today as the opportunity to address copyrights on the written works. Globally on the Book Days, Readathons are being organized, in small and big ways, to remember the legendary works in the world of literature. Gifting books – for those who can’t afford to own books- is an important event of this day.
Besides gifting, reading secession are organized on this special day, to inculcate and promote reading among people, especially among younger generation. Such events give the flavor for reading and the pleasure that an individual derives through reading. Reading for pleasure is equally important as much as reading for knowledge. A research finding from ‘The Reading Agency’ reveals that reading for pleasure plays an important role in an individual and contributes much to his/her positive mental health.
Reading never lets you feel alone. It’s easy for anyone to chase away the feeling of loneliness with a book. Reading transforms an individual even in unrecognized ways to the reader himself. Yes, Reading primarily surprises the reader!
Often the transformative power of reading experienced by a reader remains inexplicable. Perhaps this is what we express as ‘The Magic of Reading’
Reading breeds Thinking!