Comprehension Culture Unclassified

April, 23rd: World Book Day

As you may know, yesterday, April 23rd, was the World Book Day.

It is celebrated all around the world (although it is more popular in certain countries and in other countries the celebration has been moved to a different date). For example, in the United Kingdom the festivity takes place on the first Thursday  of March , because it clashed with Easter school holidays.

Why April 23? Origins of this celebration

This date was chosen because it was the day when two of the greatest writers, Cervantes and Shakespeare, passed away. It was first celebrated by Catalonian booksellers in 1923 to honor Miguel de Cervantes.

Some years later, in 1995, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) decided to promote a World International Book Day and kept the same date, since this is also the date of William Shakespeare’s death. Nowadays, it is known as the World International Book and Copyright Day.


Apart from honoring these two writers, truth be told, this day is maintained to promote reading, publishing and copyright; Not only reading but also the actual purchase of books on their hard copy format, considering the difficult times  for the book industry that we live in. And that is why there are special discounts in books. So if you are longing for a new book, take advantage of this discounts and buy it this day!

How is it celebrated?

The celebration is different in each city and country but there are always special activities: lectures with authors, literary discussions, theatre, public readings, book fairs, activities for kids… It is common in some cities to also give books as a gift.

World Book Capital City

Each year since 2001,UNESCO and the International Organizations related to the book industry select, for a one-year period, a World Book Capital City. Madrid was the first selected city, and the city for this year 2015 is Incheon (South Korea). Other selected cities have been: Alejandria (Egypt), New Delhi (India), Amberes (Belgium), Montreal (Canada), Beirut (Lebanon), Buenos Aires (Argentina), etc. As the World Book Capital City, cultural activities are organized on this day.