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