23 April is a symbolic date for world literature according to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. World Book and Copyright Day was established in 1995 by UNESCO to encourage everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. With this in mind, UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day.
World Book and Copyright Day seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of reading books. This day aims to highlight the power of books and their ability to impart knowledge and values to readers. It reinforces the idea that books serve as windows into different worlds, both fictional and non-fictional.
This day encourages people of all ages to understand the value of books and to read more. It also acknowledges those authors and artists who created the works and vows to continue to protect their work through copyrights.
During the month of April and all year round, it is critical to take the time to read on your own or with your children. It is a time to celebrate the importance of reading, foster children’s growth as readers, and promote a lifelong love of literature and integration into the world of work.
Message from Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO:
“Books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. They are at once a means of exploring realms beyond our personal experience through exposure to different authors, universes and cultures, and a means of accessing the deepest recesses of our inner selves. Page by page, books light the path for us to roam unbound by time or by borders; in other words, they give us freedom. In celebrating books, we are also celebrating their authors, who provide us with snippets of life and with insight into different realities. They give us a window onto the world, a view of existence. It is for this reason that this celebration takes place on 23 April, the day on which died William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, writers whose works have been captivating our imagination for four centuries. We are also paying homage to all the professions associated with books: editing, publishing and translation. These fields make it possible to disseminate our literary heritage, allow new creations to find a place for their expression, and enable the spread of ideas. These professions must be protected, and their value acknowledged. For this year’s edition of World Book and Copyright Day, I thus encourage each and every one of you to pick up a book, start turning its pages, and draw from it the breath of fresh air which will help to sustain you now and in future.”
Prepared: Daniela Bardhaj, Intern R&D, Shkolla e Drejtorëve