World Book and Copyright Day


Emblem for World Book and Copyright DayWorld Book and Copyright Day is celebrated 23 April with events encouraging everyone, particularly young people, to discover the joy of reading.


The Twenty-eighth session of the General Conference of UNESCO (25 October-16 November 1995) adopted Resolution 28 C/3.18 unanimously which proclaimed the World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April. This day is always marked by the Message of the Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day.


Poster for World Book and Copyright Day 2006The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, numerous book fairs and street festivals are held and a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. The objective of the Day is to attract attention to the phenomenon of the book as a valuable source of knowledge, as means of expression and communication which is still a basis for active education and critical thought though there are many other more complicated sources of information. This day emphasizes big importance of book and copyright as means of development of culture of peace, tolerance and intercultural  dialogue.


Czech Republic - stamp World Book and Copyright Day 1998The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned (authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media), who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Poster for World Book and Copyright Day - RussiaAssociations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.


23 April is a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.





The World Book and Copyright Day section on the UNESCO website.



Stamp catalogue - 1997


Tunisia                        23 April 1997









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last revised: 14 February 2008