World Book Day is an international celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of young people reading. In fact, it’s the biggest party of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. So if you love reading – or you hope to pass your love of reading onto someone else – this is the perfect day to do it. The aim of World Book Day is ‘to turn millions of kids into millions of readers’ and everyone under the age of 18 in the UK gets a book for £1 – visit the main World Book Day to claim one for your young readers.
In the UK World Book Day 2016 is celebrated on Thursday 3rd March. Confusingly, the rest of the world celebrates World Book and Copyright Day on 23rd April. Why the difference? Blame our variable Easter holiday dates – the earlier 3rd March date was chosen for the UK to maximise the number of schools who could take part in this celebration of all things bookish.
The 23rd April date chosen by UNESCO for World Book and Copyright Day is important for two reasons. First, it is the birth and death date of the best and biggest English-language author in the world, William Shakespeare. His life and works are celebrated across the UK during Shakespeare Week , a week-long programme of events coordinated by Stratford’s Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to get kids into Shakespeare.
Second, 23rd April is the death date of the author of the world’s first modern novel, Miguel de Cervantes. 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of this auspicious occasion, and this April the world celebrates the author of Don Quixote. To find out about Cervantes’ surprising connections with Edinburgh and the city’s Cervantean celebrations in 2016, take a look at Words on the Street.
To find World Book Day events in Edinburgh for you and the little ones in your life visit our events pages.
To find out about World Book Day events across the rest of the UK, visit WorldBookDay.com
To take part in World Book and Copyright Day across the world, visit UNESCO’s international events pages.