World Book Day: Books Mark the Beginning of a New Friend

Books are said to be a person’s best friend. When you open a book you open a new world. It gives you immense pleasure while reading a book in distress
World Book Day: Books Mark the Beginning of a New Friend
World Book Day

Juthika Baruah

Books are said to be a person’s best friend. When you open a book you open a new world. It gives you immense pleasure while reading a book in distress. One can even relate their lives story with a piece of story in a book while reading. ‘World Book Day’ is celebrated on April 23 to promote and recognize the benefit of reading books.

But it is not just that you need to read a book only on a particular day but one should make it a habit of reading a book daily in order to make your mind free from stress that you undergo on a daily basis for the busy mechanical life.

World Book Day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). April 23 is an important day for literature as it marks the birth and death of several prominent authors. While Manuel Mejia Vallejo and Maurice Druon were born on April 23, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Josep Pla died on April 23.

UNESCO decided to celebrate 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.

Reading Book Vs Digital Platform

The youngsters are now mostly seen engaged in digital platform with the invention of smart phones. Smart phones can also be a medium of reading a book. Earlier, people used to read a book during their free time but the youngsters now-a-days and also a section of age-old people are engaged with their mobile phones to keep themselves active in social media rather than to read a book.

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Many parents may worry that with easier access to the screen, children may not be spending enough time reading books. A recently conducted survey, however, found that nearly 92 per cent children read books for fun for at least a day in a week.

According to Kids and Family Reading Report, a national survey by Scholastic India, children’s books publishing house, more than 77 per cent kids said they believed that reading books for fun — beyond their curriculum, like leisure books and story books — was important.

Reading books not only keeps kids away from spending too much time in front of the screen but also helps improve language skills and opens new avenues of imagination and critical thinking, shaping their character in the process.

Reading for fun is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success.

As part of World Book Day, UNESCO and the international organisations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a year. Guadalajara (Mexico) has been named World Book Capital for the year 2022. The city of Madrid (Spain) has been the first city to be named World Book Capital in 2001.

“By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge, with the work across the board – from the Creative Cities of Literature network to promoting literacy and mobile learning and advancing Open Access to scientific knowledge and educational resources,” a statement on the UNESCO World Book Day website read.

It further added: “With the active involvement of all stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.”

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