Eyes tracing the foxing pages of some old library book, deeply inhaling the fresh scent of a brand new paperback, or fingers virtually flipping the pages of an ebook.. a book in any form never fails to leave the reader spellbound in its magic.
And to celebrate this little wonder called BOOKS, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to celebrate April 23 as World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, as an annual event to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
The first World Book Day was celebrated on 23 April in 1995.
The Spanish writer Vicente Clavel Andrés originally suggested 7 October, the birth date of author Miguel de Cervantes, then on 23 April, his death date to be declared as World Book Day, to honour the author. However in 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is the death anniversary of not only Miguel de Cervantes but also of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as the birth or death anniversaries of several other prominent authors.
Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO quoted “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.”
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley
Rightly termed as a magical portal, books make our minds to expand and fly to the beautiful worlds created by authors through ages.
More than ever, at a time where most of us around the world are in their homes amid corona crisis, with movement restricted, books are the best tool to combat boredom in this isolation.
So on this International Book Day lets grab a book, dive inside our minds and travel within ourselves while staying at home.