From the giving of roses to women, to them presenting books to men and a bookseller who promoted the holiday to commemorate the anniversaries of the deaths of William Shakespeare, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Miguel Cervantes on 23rd April 1616, World Book and Copyright day promotes reading, publishing and copyright.
UNESCO chose World Book and Copyright Day to promote reading habits among children and to protect the intellectual property by using copyright. It was first established in Paris,1995, according to the Gregorian calendar, to celebrate the anniversaries of the late authors.
This day the magical power of the book is celebrated in over 100 countries, where people and groups come together to pay tribute to authors and books,
World Book and Copyright Day focuses on issues that are experienced in the world of publishers, distributors as well as authors.
Growing up, most of us went through the tradition of receiving or hounding for Bedtime Story Books, Fairy tale ones or Nursery Rhymes, you know… Cinderella, Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Mary Had a Little Lamb and the like, nowadays, the reading culture seems to have taken a rather ‘unfortunate’ turn.
The physical books have now shifted to audio books, hours that would be spent engaging oneself in a captivating reading material have now been replaced by hurrying home to catch up on those favourite TV shows and series episodes, newspapers have been pushed to the side especially by the younger generation and the mobile phone has shown to have a gripping substitution to this. A friend can now tell one of a book and as zeal is created from the curiosity to read it, one gets it but months later it is stacked among a heap of dusty books you forgot about turning it into a Tsundoku situation.
It is important to appreciate that the times are changing and with the invention of technology and creation of various mediums to get instant information from. It is also important to keep alive various practices that ought not to die off. Such practices include purchasing a book for leisure reading for the kids, reading along with them when you can squeeze in an hour at home, telling a friend about a book that touches on something they may be interested in and even lending books to people. We all have different interests and I bet there is a different book out there for everyone that matches their style.
We can’t forget to mention the effect that books create, as we read them, we get to experience the world like never before.
Imagine a world with neither stories nor books, or even reading material, a world where you cannot be able to connect to the author’s/ publisher’s mind and be transported into a different horizon, it would be joyless indeed!
With Publishers disseminating a publication to copyrighting which protects the owners’ book from being misused or stolen, World Book and Copyright Day shouldn’t just be about one day in the month of April, it should be an everyday culture that we take part in in discovering the pleasure of reading.
It is necessary for us to support books and those who produce them. The power that books have can really connect cultures and generations, this is undeniable.