The world celebrated on Monday International Book Day, with 23 April acting as a symbolic date for world literature.
On this date in 1616, famous writers Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla, and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
In 1995, the UNESCO’s General Conference was held in Paris to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading.
It is observed by millions of people in over 100 countries, in hundreds of voluntary organisations, schools, public bodies, professional groups, and private businesses, according to the UN.
Each year, the UNESCO and the international organisations representing the three major sectors of the book industry—publishers, booksellers, and libraries—select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.
The city of Athens was chosen for the quality of its activities, supported by the entire book industry. The aim is to make books accessible to the city’s entire population, including migrants and refugees.