World Book and Copyright Day
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.
What is World Book and Copyright Day
World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the scope of books - a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. On this occasion, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a year to maintain, through its own initiatives, the impetus of the Day’s celebrations.
23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. This date was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books.
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.