UNESCO World Book Day

UNESCO World Book Day:  23 April

Books & Roses Day for The Bard and St George!

UNESCO World Book Day

23 April is a symbolic day in world literature.  Declared World Book Day by UNESCO in 1995, Books and Roses Day celebrates books and literature, reading, writing and the contribution to world heritage by our most beloved authors.  This day marks Shakespeare’s Birthday as well as the death of both Shakespeare and Cervantes. In England 23 April is also St George’s Day.  By mythical account, as St George slew the dragon, drops of the dragon’s blood sprouted into a rose.

There are so many reasons to celebrate 23 APRIL as Books and Roses day.  Here are some of the best:
To promote universal access to reading, writing, literacy and education,
To promote cultural diversity, exchange and understanding,
To improve access to culturally relevant reading materials in local and regional languages,
To celebrate books as the global archive of humanity.

“Our relationship with books determines, to a large extent, our relationship with culture.  In all formats, books embody ideas and values considered worthy of pursuit and preservation.”

–  Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO

Maria KasperUNESCO World Book Day

Maria writes about Shakespeare’s Birthday, how reading has informed and shaped her life for more than half a century at MARIA’S BOOKS.



The World’s Archive

23 April 2014:  As the internet occurs as a live stream there is no archive of changes.  Our online world is a very different place now than it was ten years ago.  Sites, articles, references, all change every instant as it streams forward.  ‘In Praise of Old Dictionaries’ highlights the value of Real Paper Books as the archives of our world.  Dictionaries carry the evolution and forensic detail of our world’s languages undergoing increasingly rapid changes.

11 thoughts on “UNESCO World Book Day

  1. Raymond Kasper

    Saroyan, Tennessee Williams, Steinbeck, Sherlock Holmes, Once & Future King.

    1. Raymond Kasper

      PS — My autographed copy of Glass Menagerie would be necessary on any desert island. I got it autographed at a performance of Night of the Iguana, in Patrick O’Neal’s dressing room. My friend Ronnie House got me backstage.

  2. Ben Green

    Iain M Banks’ ‘Feersum Ennjin’. Sci-fi that’s well written and relatively cool, also the first Iain Banks book I read. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to help me more realistically pretend I’m a spy, although what would I be spying on a desert island? Think I’d also go for The Odyssey for re-readability.

  3. Joanna Stephen-Ward

    My favourite is The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloch

    In no particular order some others are, The Prophetess by Barbara Wood, Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and The House of the Strand also by DDM, The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy.

  4. Ken Licata

    Desert island selections are NOT EASY. “Spoiled by choices,” indeed! And one needs to consider not only greatness, but ongoing rereadabliity. I’m going with The Tempest, Huckleberry Finn, A Tale of Two Cities, an e e cummings anthology and Tom Robbins’ Still Life with Woodpecker. Also, I’m working on a raft so I can read your selections.

    1. Meg Green

      Too right Ken, it’s not easy! So let’s be generous and assume that the island comes equipped with a Complete Shakespeare. And a Library Raft so we can share books between our islands. Can I be the raft driver? (Btw Ken, I had completely forgotten about ‘Still Life w/ Woodpecker’. Many thanks for sending it ’round on the Library Raft.)

    1. Maria Kasper

      If I have to limit myself to three and only three — (what privation!) —
      The Complete Works of William Shakespeare — (the First Essential — a library in itself!)
      The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
      Huckleberry Finn

      If I’m allowed more than three — (you didn’t say it had to be only three!)
      a Bible — preferably Jerusalem translation
      Something by Dickens — probably Great Expectations
      Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
      Saroyan’s pair of novellas — Human Comedy and My Name is Aram
      a blank book — a good big ‘un!

  5. Meg Green

    Hi Maria,
    Thanks for that wonderful post on Bus Stop reading, ‘natural as breathing or walking’. I love your drawing and am always curious about what’s on other people’s bookshelves, weakness of mine, if you can call it that.
    One of the best side effects of working in Book Arts is being read to while working on other peoples’ books.
    One of my favourite resources (and a very worthwhile public service) is my Librivox account.
    I’ve listened to a number of excellent books – and found lots of things I’ve never heard of before! – which make my studio days very nice indeed.
    However, here we are apparently spoiled for choice. There are simply so many books available from so many readers it’s hard to know where to start. I’ll listen to almost anything read by Termin Dyan or Czechchris though, excellent and characterful readers who are at their ease on the page.
    Are there any readers or new books you’d particularly recommend?
    What have you listened to that you really enjoyed?

    1. Maria Kasper

      I started with my old classic favorites, Bronte, Dickens, Stevenson. Then just browsed and tried out odds and ends. I like some of the period nonfiction, historical viewpoints, the way things looked to people at the time — whatever time that was. Nonfiction might not be so much to your taste, but there are plenty of novels and plays. I know you like French and Russian novels, and there’s a good number of those in the collection. As to particular readers, I’ve gotta admit I don’t pay much attention to who exactly is reading what. Generally, if there’s a choice of more than one audio edition of the same work, I prefer the multi-reader versions over the solo versions. Just a quirk of mine, but I like the cozy feeling of passing a book around the room and everyone taking their turn to read, and that’s a feeling that “works” better for me with a variety of voices in the mix. But admittedly a single solo reader would probably give a more polished effect.

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