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. 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 initially 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 of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The project was created for the Festival Fabula 2010, run by a literary book publisher Študentska založba, as the central event of Ljubljana’s 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 – also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book – is an annual 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 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 the World Book Day.

According to Wikimedia, the World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995. The connection between this date and books was first made in 1923 by Spanish booksellers, at the initiative of the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés, to honour the death of the author Miguel de Cervantes in the Catalonian festival of St George. In Catalonia, St George’s Day (Diada de Sant Jordi), the Saint Patron of this historical region, has been commemorated since 1436, and it involves the exchange of gifts between loved ones and respected people. St George’s Day in Catalonia is celebrated with giving loved ones Books and Roses, and is an opportunity for Catalans to honour their patron saint and show their love of culture.

In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book Day would be celebrated on that day, as, an addition to the anniversary of the death of Cervantes, the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, as well as, of 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 the 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.

The 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).

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