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World Book and Copyright Day
23 April

"Literacy is the door to knowledge, essential to individual self-esteem and empowerment. Books, in all forms, play an essential role here. "

Irina Bokova

children reading books

Queen Rania of Jordan reads from her children's book on cross-cultural understanding to a group of young students at the UN Bookshop. UN Photo/Mark Garten

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. 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.

It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging 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. In this regard, UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day.

World Book Capital 2015: Incheon, Republic of Korea

Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year. The city of Incheon was chosen for this year in recognition of its programme to promote reading among people and underprivileged sections of the population.

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