As people across the world are fighting against the novel coronavirus, the lockdown has pushed us to adopt many other habits to tackle loneliness and isolation. One of these habits includes reading books. World Book Day is observed every year on April 23. According to UNESCO, “In some countries, the number of books read has doubled” since the pandemic forced people to stay home.
April 23 is observed as World Book Day because several prominent authors were either born or have died on this day. While William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Josep Pla died on April 23, Manuel Mejia Vallejo and Maurice Druon were born on April 23.
As part of the celebrations on World Book Day 2021, UNESCO has created a bookface challenge.
“The book covers are incredibly important and play a vital role in our buying decisions. We’re all extremely judgemental about covers. The pandemic has also reminded us all of the importance of books and reading for comfort and escapism, we’ve all needed it this past year…in such circumstances, we invite students, teachers, readers from around the world as well as the book industry and library services to testify and express their love for reading by participating to this challenge,” an official statement on the UNESCO website read.
UNESCO decided to commemorate a day and dedicate it to reading and books in the UNESCO’s General Conference held in Paris 1995 to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. Unlike some other days started by the UN, there are no themes for World Book Day.