News & events > World Book and Copyright Day | 23 April
23 Apr 2014 - 23 Apr 2014

World Book and Copyright Day | 23 April

books UNESCO designates 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day. By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright. 23 April is a symbolic date for world literature, since 23 April 1616 was the date of death of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. 23 April is also the date of birth or death of several other prominent authors. In Asia, read about World Book Day 2013 celebrations in Cambodia and the Books for Asia programme. Hong Kong Public Libraries have organised a creative competition for World Book Day in 2014. In Barcelona, April 23 is Sant Jordi's Day, Catalunya's version of Valentine's day and is a one day festival of romance, roses and books all inspired by the legend of Saint George on 23rd April. There are bookstalls and book markets all over Barcelona on Sant Jordi's day when, according to some traditions, women give gifts of books to men. In the UK and Ireland, 23 April is World Book Night, an annual celebration of reading and books when passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books. 20 books have been selected in 2014 and are given away free in libraries, bookshops and online. So, check out what is happening in your country, city or village for World Book Day - maybe there's still time to organise something yourself!