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World Book Day

World Book Day
UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2012 poster
Observed by All UN Member States
Frequency annual

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 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 1
  • World Book Day by country 2
    • Spain 2.1
    • Sweden 2.2
    • United Kingdom 2.3
    • United States of America 2.4
  • See also 3
  • References 4
    • Citations 4.1
    • Books 4.2
  • External links 5

Date selection

The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Catalonia, Spain[Book 1] The original idea was the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés as a way to honor the author Miguel de Cervantes, who died on this 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]

World Book Day by country

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


To celebrate this day, Cervantes's 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, 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 April 13 in the year 2000[4] and 2011 to avoid a clash with Easter.[5]

United Kingdom

In the The Reading Agency is held on 23 April.

United States of America

In Kensington, Maryland the International Day of the Book is celebrated with a street festival on the Sunday closest to April 23.

See also



  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 Français). 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Världsbokdagen flyttas , Svensk Bokhandel, 22 October 1999
  5. ^ Världsbokdagen ”flyttas”, Dagens Nyheter, 11 November 2010.


  1. ^ Margo Hammond, Ellen Heltzel (2008). Between the Covers: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures (2008 ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 136.  

External links

  • World Book and Copyright Day at UN 23 April
  • World Book and Copyright Day at UNESCO 23 April
  • Message of Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day - 23 April 2011 (PDF)
  • About World Book Day in the UK and Ireland
  • About The International Day of the Book celebration in Kensington, Maryland, USA
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