Why is World Book Day on April 23?

intro-worldbookday2014Did you know that a whole slew of notable historical events that are important to world literature occurred on April 23? UNESCO chose this date to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day since it corresponds to the following events in literary history:

Miguel de Cervantes, “El Inca” Garcilaso de la Vega, and William Shakespeare all died on this day in 1616.

The author of Don Quixote, the chronicler of the Incan empire, and the bard all shuffled off their respective mortal coils on (probably) the same day.

It is also the date of birth or death of other authors as well, such as:

  • Maurice Druon (b. 1918)
  • Halldór K. Laxness (b. 1902)
  • Vladimir Nabokov (b. 1899… sort of.)
  • Josep Pla (d. 1981)
  • Manuel Mejía Vallejo (b. 1923)
  • P.L. Travers (d. 1996)

So have a great World Book Day, and be sure to stop by the Earth Day / World Book Day sale to join the festivities.

One Comment

  1. 23rd of April is also a national holiday in Turkey, dedicated to children. It’s also known as Children Festival :)

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