World Book & Copyright Day: A Brief History

Did you know? April 23rd is World Book & Copyright Day. That’s right—an entire day dedicated to books and the world of literature. But why did UNESCO decide on the twenty-third? And how is World Book & Copyright Day Celebrated?

In this article, we’ll delve into the interesting history and meaning behind the day and learn more about how it is celebrated. So, keep reading! (Pun Intended)  

What is World Book and Copyright Day?

Every year, on April 23rd, the world comes together in celebration of all things literature. The event, organized by UNESCO, is meant to promote not just reading but publishing, creativity, and even copyright.

Why April 23rd?

April 23rd is a symbolic day in the world of literature. Why? Because it’s the day that three great literary figures—Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega—all died. (Yes, you read that right. They all died on the same day in the same year, 1616.) It’s also the day on which many other literary figures were born.

books, bookshelf, old

How Does Belize, And the Rest of the World, Celebrate World Book & Copyright Day?

UNESCO has stated, “Our goal is to engage people in reading, and to have fun doing so! As a celebration of this year’s World’s Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO has created a ‘Bookface’ challenge,”

The challenge asks book lovers across to globe to submit photos of themselves with a book cover, or page of a book, placed in front of them, blending into their reality.

This is just one of the many ways the day is celebrated throughout the world. Here at home, our very own Belize Book Industry Association hosts “Book Week”, an annual week-long celebration that leads up to World Book & Copyright Day.

This year, and even more so last year, the festivities were mostly virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, things have gotten somewhat better over time, allowing for a bit more to be done for Book Week 2021.

Small gatherings were held at libraries across the country and the recordings have been posted on the BBIA Facebook page.  Also, several Belizean authors, poets, publishers, and booksellers have shared videos of their reflections, their work, and much more on the page.

If you missed it, you can still head over to Facebook to check it out. The theme of this year’s Book Week is “Enjoy a LIT Life.”

Feel free to use the hashtag #litlife on your social media. Happy reading!

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