Books are wonderful things. A good book can reduce stress and increase tranquility. It stimulates the brain, expands your vocabulary, and improves your memory, analytical thinking skills, focus and concentration. It will also improve your writing skills and – if you go to the library – is entirely FREE.
Back in 1997, UNESCO designated Apr. 23 as the first “World Book and Copy Write Day”. They chose this day because it is the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. While most of us will immediately recognize the name Shakespeare, de Cervantes may not be quite so familiar.
De Cervantes is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and the world’s pre-eminent novelist. His major work is “Don Quixote” (a title I’m sure you will recognize). This book is considered to be the first modern European novel and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written.
Today, World Book and Copy Write Day is celebrated in over 100 countries, with most celebrating it on Apr. 23, although a few countries celebrate it on a different day (in the UK it is in March). It is a celebration of books and reading.
As part of the celebrations, ever year UNESCO awards the label “World Book Capital City” to a city somewhere in the world in recognition of that city’s municipal programs promoting books and reading. Designated cities retain the distinction for 365 days, starting on Apr. 23. In 2005, it was Montreal, Canada.
Last year (2015), it was Incheon, in the Republic of Korea. This year it will be Wroclaw, Poland.
UNESCO is currently looking for applications for 2018. If you think Barriere deserves the title, you can find the application form and instructions on their site: en.unesco.org/world-book-capital-day.
To celebrate this day, read a book. Any book. Whether it is your favourite, that you’ve read a million times already, or a book you’ve never read before.
Don’t have any interesting ones in the house? Drop by the Barriere Library and borrow one – they have lots to choose from.