World Book and Copyright Day

23 April

On World Book and Copyright Day, especially in uncertain times, we must cherish and defend books as symbols of hope and dialogue.

Books have long embodied the human capacity to conjure up worlds, both real and imagined, giving voice to the diversity of human experience. They help us share ideas, obtain information, and inspire admiration for different cultures, enabling far-reaching forms of dialogue between people across space and time.

In 2022, the Mexican city of Guadalajara is taking up the mantle of World Book Capital, with a year-long programme that focuses on the role of books and reading in triggering social change, combating violence, and building a culture of peace.

On World Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO calls on its partners to share the message that books are a force to address contemporary challenges, to understand political  and  economic realities, and to combat inequalities and misinformation.

Storytelling is an incredibly effective tool when  it comes to educating younger generations. Indeed, books are vital vehicles to access, transmit and promote education, science, culture, and information worldwide. For this reason, every year, on 23 April – a date that marks the departure of three great authors of universal literature, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega – we celebrate their captivating power to spark innovation, generate knowledge and change minds.

"Indeed, books are vital vehicles to access, transmit and promote education, science, culture and information worldwide."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO

By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge, with the work across the board – from the Creative Cities of Literature network to promoting literacy and mobile learning and advancing Open Access to scientific knowledge and educational resources. With the active involvement of all stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.


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Our partners

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
International Publishers Association
International Authors Forum
European and International Booksellers Federation


UN website about this day
Past Edition
All International Days