Andreja Brulc's Blog

World Book Day 2012

Posted in Books, Craft, Projects by andrejabrulc on 01/03/2012

Today is World Book Day in the UK, and I contributed a postcard to the Random Project to mark this occasion. The words related to the theme were: “Words”, “Dream”, “World” and “Imagine”. The postcard below is a response to the “Words”.

The hand-made letters were originally created for a public art installation – France Prešeren’s New Outfit – dressing the Slovene Romantic poet in a huge cloak, whose monument stands in the main square in Ljubljana. The project was created for the Festival Fabula 2010, run by a literary book publisher Študentska založba, as the central event of Ljubljana time as UNESCO World Book Capital 2010. I have created over 200 book covers for the publisher since 2007, hence my naughty play on the usual phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

World Book Day (World Book and Copyright Day) is a yearly event organised by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. It is a celebration of authors, illustrators and books.  According to the UK World Book Day, the main aim of today in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children of all ages to come together in order to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with a £1 token against the purchase of a book from the list. The organisation will send these tokens to schools that participate in World Book Day.

According to Wikimedia, World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April. The connection between this date and books was first made in 1923 by Spanish booksellers to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes in the Catalonian festival who died on that day.

In 1995 UNESCO decided that World Book Day would be celebrated on that day, as the source say, because of the Catalonian festival and because the date is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, the death of Carvantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Josep Pia, and the birth of Maurice Druon, Vladimir Nabokov, Manuel Mejíla Vallejo and Halldór Laxness.

The date for World Book Day however differs from country to country. In the UK and the Republic of Ireland is held annually on the first Thursday in March as the established international 23 April would clash with Easter school holidays and as the 23 April is also the National Saint’s day of England, St George’s Day.

World Book Day is not funded by the British government. The funding for activities mainly comes from the major sponsor, National Book Tokens, and the UK book trade (publishers and booksellers).

So much more important that books still get published in hard copies. Cheers.

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