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World Book and Copyright Day
23 April

"Books help weave humanity together as a single family, holding a past in common, a history and heritage, to craft a destiny that is shared, where all voices are heard in the great chorus of human aspiration."

Irina Bokova

children reading books

Four-year-old Xima Awada Yakub (left) and her sister, Zamai, reading books at the newly restored library at the Cultural Centre in El Fasher, North Darfur. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

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 2016: Wroclaw, Poland

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 Wroclaw was chosen this year for its commitment to spreading the message of the power of books to nurture creativity and advance dialogue between women and men of all cultures.

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