Here’s Why World Book Day Is Celebrated On April 23


Today is World Book and Copyright Day, or more popularly known as just World Book Day. For bibliophiles worldwide, it is a chance to share your love of the written word far and wide. But why is it celebrated on April 23?

Every year on April 23, book lovers share their passion via a variety of mediums. They take to social media to talk about books, or curl up and spend the day reading, regardless of whether it is a paperback or digital edition. Others attend book events or visit libraries to participate in different activities pertaining to books and reading.

While many people implore that people are reading less, studies have actually found that millennials, specifically, are reading more than the older generation. As far back as 2014, studies were revealing the increased readership among millennials, according to The Atlantic. Research from the Pew Research Center indicated that 88 percent of people under the age of 30 had read a book in the previous year, compared to 79 percent in the 30-years plus category.

Expert Editor has also found that 94 percent of millennials that own a smartphone use it to read daily. This is compared to the 65-years-old-plus demographic, of which only 45 percent use their phones to read. Millennials are also reading, on average, five books per year and are accessing libraries for their information more regularly than the generation behind them. Compared to Gen Xers, of which only 45 percent frequent libraries or bookmobiles, millennials are using them approximately 53 percent of the time, which means they were likely reading regardless of whether or not it is World Book Day.

A cup of tea next to a Kobo eReader
Featured image credit: Perfecto_CapucinePixabay

According to UNESCO, World Book Day is more significant and seeped in book-lore than one might first think. April 23 is also the day when author William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. So, to have people celebrating reading and books in general on this day adds more meaning on a date when the world lost some literary greats.

As a result of this significant date, it became the obvious choice when UNESCO held its first General Conference in Paris in 1995. During this conference, it was encouraged to spread the word about the enjoyment of books and reading and to encourage access to everyone regarding readership and books.

Every year, World Book Day focuses on a theme, and this year, it was the importance of enhancing and protecting indigenous languages. As a result of this, UNESCO Headquarters will be hosting the exhibition Les Livres à deux places from April 23 to May 14, 2019.

So, if you are keen to celebrate World Book Day, why not check out some of William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s works now that you know the extra significance behind the day.