23 Apr 2009

Día del Libro!

Did you know it's World Book Day / Día Internacional del Libro today?!

Literature and those who bring it to us have been celebrated on this day since the UNESCO declared it so in 1995. Although we must have been ahead of the times in Spain since it's been celebrated on this date since 1930 (particularly in Cataluña).

So why April 23rd? What's the big deal with this one date? Well, talk about major coincidences... turns out that two cornerstones of Western Literature died on the same day! Any guesses as to whom??? Those would be Shakespeare and Cervantes, one in England and the other in Spain, but both died on April 23 1616. Definitely a date to be marked!

So what are you waiting for?! Go out and read a book already!!!

And leave me a comment to tell me what you're currently reading! ;o)

From the UNESCO website:
"23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, 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. The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold."

->Actually the tradition is that girls give guys a book and guys give girls a rose. Much as I like roses, I think we lose out on that deal! :p


  1. Ok, so I'll start!

    I'm currently reading the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Or at least I've been going around with the book in my bag for a week or so now, every day meaning to start it, but not quite managing to do so!

    But in honour of the date, I will definitely start today! :o)

    And then I'll have to get back to reading scientific articles which are a lot less fun... :s

  2. That's really interesting that they both died on the same date.

    I am reading the ones on my side bar, and itching to find a good novel - I like historical fiction. But I really need to finish a few first. Let me know about Benjamin Button, that could go on my list.

  3. Historical Fiction is pretty much my favourite literary category! Must have something do with my love of novels and my wanting to study history when I was in high-school (chose biology instead).

    Ben Button is just a short story so it will be a quick read, I'll write up about it in my monthly "reading" post.

  4. It really bothers me that they died on the same date, but actually about ten days apart because England was not on the Gregorian Calender at that point in time...
    Anyway, I'm currently reading Don Quixote (yay!) and Falling Man, by Don Delillo (boo). I'm also getting the newspaper now in the hopes of being able to actually get interested in current events.
    I'll be out of town this weekend, though, so I probably won't be able to keep up with the reading at all.
    C'est la vie.

  5. I actually read most when I'm out of town... because it usually entails several hours of travel time (aka reading time) and nights out where I don't stay up too late watching TV so I'm actually awake enough to read when I go to bed! :p

    I was actually thinking of you Nicky when I wrote the post, I thought "how great is it Nicky's reading Don Quixote right not!"

    and yeah, I heard about the different calendars... oh well!

  6. I'd rather get a book too - although roses are not all bad! I'm just finishing the Fountainhead - so we're both reading US literary greats.

  7. The Fountainhead? I haven't heard of it! Who's the author? I forsee a literary discovery for me... ;o)

  8. It's written by Ayn Rand - it's very good. I found this really thin book you could read in a spare hour or two called 'five people you meet in heaven' by Mitch Albom. Don't be put off by the vague religious nod in the title and give it a go. I may even blog on it - although it's very sunny outside..

  9. Thx O! I'll keep a look out for it!


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