World Book Day: Date&Time, History and Theme to Celebrate
World Book Day 2021. Photo: Metro UK

We love books, and our friends at UNESCO agree. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization proposed World Book Day as a day of celebrating the joy of reading for enjoyment. One hundred countries observe World Book Day, and why not?

Children who regularly read for enjoyment have higher test scores, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge, and a better understanding of other cultures than their non-reading counterparts. Whether you read traditional paperbound books or turn to your Kindle/iPad/whatever, reading’s a passport to this and many other worlds, National Today cites.

So celebrate with us on April 23! Here’s how to harness your inner bookworm — and maybe get a free book.

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When is the World Book Day 2021?

The enjoyment of reading books is celebrated on World Book Day on April 23. It’s a day to celebrate the privilege of being able to read, so head to the library or curl up on the couch and just be a bookworm!

In the UK as well as Ireland, the day is celebrated on the first Thursday of March instead of April 23. April 23 is St. George's Day in the UK, and hence, to avoid a clash with it, the day has been moved to the UK as well as Ireland. In this year 2021, World Book Day in the UK will be celebrated on March 4.

History of World Book Day

According to Calendar Labs, the first-ever World Book Day was celebrated on April 23, 1995. The date was decided by UNESCO as it was also the death and birth anniversary of William Shakespeare, a world-famous author. The date also coincided with the death anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes, who was a noted Spanish author. Some other well-known authors whose birth or death anniversary falls on this day are Maurice Druon, Josep Pla, and Halldor Laxness.

World Book Day: Date&Time, History and Theme to Celebrate
Share A Story with World Book Day 2021. Photo: World Book Day

The idea of the day was taken from a Spanish tradition. April 23rd has always been celebrated as "The Rose Day" in Spain. On this day, people exchanged roses for showing their love and support, much like Valentine's Day. However, in 1926, when Miguel de Cervantes dies on the day, people exchanged books instead of roses in order to commemorate the death of the great author. The tradition continues to this day in Spain and that's from where the idea of World Book Day came about.

As the name suggests, the focus of the day is on books and writing. Thus, various programs are held by UNESCO to promote reading habits among people. The focus is also on discussing various issues pertaining to the world of authors, publishers, distributors, etc. as well as promoting their works and causes.

What's the theme of World Book Day 2021?

To embrace the remote learning so many are still grappling with across the country, the charity has decided to launch a World Book Day Book Club and Share a Story corner.

The charity will be holding live events, named Share a Story, and interactive book club sessions to try and encourage even more children to pick up a book or start reading for pleasure.

World Book Day has also teamed up with Nielsen Book again to provide a selection of books available for just £1.

World Book Day: Date&Time, History and Theme to Celebrate
Photo: World Book Day

Ways to celebrate World Book Day 2021 in the lockdown:

Rearrange your bookshelf

What's better than spending your free time in the company of good books? This World Book Day, utilize your time to rearrange your home library and decorate it too with souvenirs, fairy lights, or just some indoor plants, Times of India cites.

Recommend and lend books to others

Since bookstores are closed and some people prefer physical copies over digital formats this World Book Day, help your family or neighbors by recommending and lending them some of your books. After all, happiness, when shared, is doubled.

Set an online book-date with fellow bibliophiles

Since you can't go out and meet your book club friends in person, you can set up an online date with them. Having meaningful conversations with fellow bibliophiles will surely uplift your mood and it's also a great way to celebrate World Book Day. Or you can just call your friends and talk about books and authors with them.

Post about books on social media

While we are maintaining social distance and self-isolation, we don't really have to disconnect with the world to do so. So go online and post about your favorite books, the most recent novels you read, or your current reads on social media. Pickup a childhood favorite book and re-read it to remind yourself how you discovered the magic of reading.

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