23 April is World Book Day

When I wrote about World Read Aloud Day,  Tom Matthews, Content Manager at In The Book, a children’s book publisher, told me about yet another day dedicated to reading.

Till then, I didn’t know that 23 April was designated as World Book Day at the UNESCO’s General Conference of 1995.  Several parts of the world observe this day with literary events that promote reading and publishing. Alternatively, this day is marked as International Day of the Book, World Book Days and World Book and Copyright Day.

Quoting from the UNESCO site, this day was chosen because 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.

In the United Kingdom, however, this day is celebrated on the first Thursday in March and is already over.

Why have a Book Day?

So what’s the big deal about having a book day you may well ask. Especially these days when digital media has changed people’s reading habits. Almost everyone today has a Kindle. Print media is slowly going digital and the only books that seem to be doing thriving business are for children below two. That too is because most parents are averse to exposing their toddlers to the light emitted by screens.

But, one cannot deny the power of the written word. Especially when it is read from a book.   A book can move you, elevate you, inspire you, inform you, educate you. Likewise, it can depress you, frighten you, terrify you and pain you.

Whatever the emotion it arouses, the written word will always affect you.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin in A Dance With Dragons (bookmark from Wonderflies). *

To my mind, reading is as important as breathing, eating and exercising.

There is no denying that flipping through the book, smelling the ink on paper, re-reading passages that you like and even underlining or making notes is only possible with a book.

And if reading is like soul food to us adults, it is all the more important that we teach our little ones the joy of reading.

In a 1998 study conducted by Lynn Fielding, it was found that more than 70% of children reading at a higher level at age 8  will go on to finishing high school.

In a similar study conducted in the UK reveals that there is a distinct correlation between learning and earning. A higher level of literacy ensures a higher earning capacity.

For more details on the benefits of reading to children, do read this article here.

And as for the adults, celebrate this day by browsing at a book store, visiting a local library or just picking up an old favourite from your bookshelf and re-discovering an old friend.

How do you plan on celebrating World Book Day?

Ciao

Image for Unishta

 

Credits :

Thank you Tom for inspiring this post.

*This quote has been taken from BOOKRIOT’s blog post.

The photo for the featured image is courtesy  Picsea on Unsplash

 

Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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6 Responses

  1. Reading is what makes us, educated, cultured and so many things in shaping our beliefs and honing our craft. I agree, giving a child a book early is a big leap to achieve higher education with purpose. Enjoyed reading your words.

  2. Kalpana says:

    This is why I love reading your blog – learning something new or being reminded of it. World book day! And of course, the day Shakespeare died. As well as a lot of other writers.

    • Unishta says:

      Thanks Kalpana for visiting . I appreciate both your kind words and the time you took out from your AtoZ challenge to visit someone who is not doing the challenge !

  3. Esha says:

    Loved reading this, Sunita! I’ve always remembered this day as the birthday of William Shakespeare (incidentally, the day of his death too!) But wasn’t aware of it as World Book Day! This morning, I took the time out to read a book on Ikigai and loved it. I do think more people feel tempted to stay away from books, thanks to the plethora of gadgets that we use these days and yet, there is absolutely nothing compared to the joys of reading. Glad to see you writing again, Sunita.

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