Today is World Book Day!

by joegio

Technically, it is UNESCO’s “World Book and Copyright Day,” but we’ll get to that.  Technically, the holiday is a little older than that and is totally in the public domain.

Book Day (more or less) has been celebrated in Spain since the 1920’s, where the day was recognized to mark the death of Miguel Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote and more or less the first novelist.  Never mind that Cervantes actually probably died on the 22nd and was buried on the 23rd.  Spanish booksellers, in a pique of smart self-promotion, observed the day by distributing roses to book buyers.  Romantic, simple, sweet.

Fast forward to 1995, when UNESCO noticed that not only did Cervantes die on the 23rd (22nd, whatev), but so did Shakespeare (who was also born on the 23rd ooooh creepy) and Nabokov was born on the 23rd, and a bunch of other writers too.  So they declared the 23rd “World Book and Copyright Day” in order to celebrate “reading, publishing, and protecting intellectual property through copyright.”  Not quite as romantic, simple, or sweet.  But hey, let’s make sure the kids are reading.  And protecting their intellectual property.  Those are important things.

Here are some ideas for celebrating today.

1) Read Don Quixote.  Or, like I did in high school, start Don Quixote and then never finish it, but call lots of things quixotic for a little while.

2) Illegally download all current episodes of Game of Thrones and watch them.  Mentally apologize to George R.R. Martin and HBO, but then justify yourself to yourself because if they really wanted to protect their intellectual property, they should have made it less cool.  Also because what the heck is going on with Daenerys?!

3) OK, I just googled and apparently in 2012, World Book Day was on April 23rd, but this year it might have fallen on March 7.  It’s really hard to say.  So….shut it down.  Just shut it down.

And celebrate Saint George’s Day instead, which is also (sometimes) April 23rd!!!!

Maybe there is a good book about this.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How are you going to celebrate St. George’s Day???