Monday, April 23, 2012

World Book Day

April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, chosen in honor of Shakespeare and Cervantes, who both died on April 23, 1616. The date is fitting, since Cervantes' Don Quixote is considered the first modern novel, and Shakespeare has perhaps made the largest contribution of any one person to modern English language literature.

World Book Day can be celebrated in lots of ways. In the Catalan region of Spain, the holiday is marked by giving roses and books to friends and has been know as the Dia del Libre long before UNESCO gave the day its designation. It's the perfect excuse for a costume party where guests dress up as their favorite literary character. This year also marks the first US World Book Night. This nonprofit organization has partnered with publishers to distribute copies of 30 titles to random people throughout the country to encourage reading. Rumor has it there will even be donors handing out books in Lawrence! Even if its just by stopping by the library and picking up a new book, make sure you celebrate the written word in some way today!

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