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Commemorative Events: World Book and Copyright Day 2020 - Sustainable Conversations
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Commemorative Events: World Book and Copyright Day 2020

Without books, navigating through life’s detours would be very difficult if not impossible as books arm readers with guidance, counsel, and direction.

Everyone connects with books from birth – our mysteries are explained and our complex questions are answered. Through books, we embrace our future with resilience and confidence.

We travel to places we have never seen or been to, on the wings of books.

The importance of books cannot be overemphasized which explains why World Book Day is celebrated yearly.

World Book and Copyright Day: History

In 1995, UNESCO decided to celebrate April 23 as the “World Book Day” or “World Book and Copyright Day”, since then, the date has prominence in the history of literature because on this day in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega lost their lives. As such, this day was selected to pay respect to the great literary figures.

April 23rd marks the death and birth anniversary of many other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. Therefore, it became obvious for the UNESCO to choose April 23 to celebrate World Book Day’ worldwide.

World Book and Copyright Day: Theme

Every year, UNESCO and the International Organizations representing, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, taking effect from April 23.

This year, the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was selected as the World Book Capital for 2020 because of the strong focus on inclusive education, the development of a knowledge-based society and accessible reading for all parts of the city’s population, with the slogan “KL Baca – caring through reading.”

This year’s program focuses on four major themes:

  • Reading in all its forms
  • Development of the book industry infrastructure
  • Inclusiveness and Digital Accessibility
  • Children Empowerment through reading

Recommendations for Celebration

Every year, numerous events are held to mark the day; however, on account of the current pandemic, educational institutions are closed for the safety of their students, teachers, and staff.

Therefore, by way of alternative, as we spend time at home, we recommend that you pick up a new book and glean knowledge that would trigger growth.

According to UNESCO, “Books: A Window into the World during COVID-19.”

UNESCO, has this to say: “More than ever, at a time where most of the schools around the world are closed and people are having to limit their time spent outside, the power of books should be leveraged to combat isolation, reinforce ties between people, expand our horizons, while stimulating our minds and creativity. During the month of April and all year round, it is critical to take the time to read on your own or with your children. It is a time to celebrate the importance of reading, foster children’s growth as readers and promote a lifelong love of literature and integration into the world of work.”

On a day like today, the words of Albert Einstein, “Once you stop learning, you start dying”, readily comes to mind. Let’s endeavour to be continuous learners. Let’s rise to become passionate readers, researchers and learners; remembering that we become obsolete and stale when we do, age regardless!

From the stables of Sustainable Conversations, Happy World Book and Copyright Day.


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