World Book Day 2019: Theme, what is the purpose and who started it
World Book Day is celebrated by UNESCO and other related organisations every year on the April 23. Also called the World Book and Copyright Day, it is an occasion to promote the joy of books and the art of reading. April 23 was selected by UNESCO to pay tribute to great literary figures including William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega who died on this day. This date was finalised in the year 1995 in the UNESCO General Conference, held in Paris, to honour authors and books worldwide.
World Book Day is celebrated worldwide to recognise the scope of books which are seen as a link between the past and the future, a bridge between cultures and generations. On this day, UNESCO and organisations representing publishers, booksellers and libraries select World Book Capital for a year to maintain the celebrations of books and reading. For the year 2019, Sharjah, UAE has been declared as the World Book Capital. It will be preceded by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the year 2020.
Through this day, UNESCO aims to champion books and celebrate creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. This day has become a platform for people across the globe and especially the stakeholders of the book industry including authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media to come together to promote literacy and help everyone to have access to educational resources.
Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO sums up the theme of 2019 through these words; “Books are a form of cultural expression that lives through and as part of a chosen language. Each publication is created in a distinct language and is intended for a language-specific reading audience. A book is thus written, produced, exchanged, used and appreciated in a given linguistic and cultural setting. This year we highlight this important dimension because 2019 marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages, led by UNESCO, to reaffirm the commitment of the international community in supporting indigenous peoples to preserve their cultures, knowledge and rights.”
Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter