By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.
23 April is a symbolic date for world literature, since 23 April 1616 was the date of death of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. 23 April 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.
This is why UNESCO chose this date to pay a worldwide tribute to books and their authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and to gain a renewed respect for the extraordinary contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.
The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia (Spain) where it has become a tradition to give a rose as a gift for each book purchased.
The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media.