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Today is World Book Day

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Today is World Book Day

Our friends at UNESCO agree that we love books. World Book Day was proposed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as a day to celebrate the pleasure of reading for pleasure.

World Book Day is observed in over a hundred countries, and why not?

Children who read for pleasure on a regular basis score higher on tests, have a larger vocabulary, have more general knowledge, and have a better understanding of other cultures than their non-reading peers. Reading is a passport to this and many other worlds, whether you read traditional paperbound books or use your Kindle/iPad/whatever.

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So join us on April 23 to celebrate! Here’s how to channel your inner bookworm — and possibly score a free book in the process.

On April 23, World Book Day honours the pleasure of reading books. It’s a day to honour the gift of reading, so go to the library or curl up on the couch and indulge your inner bookworm!

Reading is a fantastic form of entertainment because it requires you to use your imagination instead of just watching images on a screen. The actual feel of a book, with its scent of printed pages and glossy covers, is also extremely relaxing. Books are a valuable part of society now, but they weren’t always.

Clay tablets were used to develop vocabulary and writing thousands of years ago. Papyrus and parchment were created as a result of this. The Chinese developed the first form of a book in the third century, though their books were made up of thick bamboo pages that were stitched together.

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The printing press revolutionised books in the mid-fifteenth century, transforming them into what they are today and making them widely available. We can now enjoy the prose and poetry of countless authors and poets, from Shakespeare and Tolstoy to George R.R. Martin, thanks to this brilliant invention.

On April 23, 1995, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established World Book Day. This date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the deaths of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, a prominent Spanish chronicler.

Previously, there were several suggestions for when World Book Day should be observed. Originally, Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés proposed that the day be commemorated on Miguel de Cervantes’ birthday. This meant it could happen on his birthday, October 7, or on his death date, April 23. This date was chosen because it coincided with the dates of the deaths of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Surprisingly, several other well-known authors, including William Wordsworth and David Halberstam, died on April 23.

World Book Day is observed on a variety of dates throughout the world. The United Kingdom, Sweden, and Ireland are all members of the European Union.

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Special 365 days

Day of the English Language at the United Nations

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Day of the English Language at the United Nations

The United Nations celebrates English Language Day on April 23 each year to honour the language and promote its history, culture, and achievements. The language is one of the UN’s two working languages and one of the six official languages. English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian are among the official languages. They are also the world’s most widely spoken languages. Did you know that April 23 is also the birthday and death date of William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon? The United Nations celebrates English Language Day not only to promote the language but also to honour William Shakespeare’s life and works.

The invasion of Britain by three Germanic tribes — the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes — in the 5th century A.D. marked the beginning of the English language. These Germanic tribes migrated from what is now Denmark and northern Germany, crossing the North Sea and driving out the original inhabitants, who spoke Celtic. The native Britons re-established themselves in what is now Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The Angles spoke Englisc and came from Engla-land (land of the Angles). England and English are both derived from these words.
Similar languages were spoken by the Germanic tribes, which evolved into Old English. This language is not the same as modern English, and even native English speakers would struggle to understand it. While Old English is no longer in use, it is the foundation for modern English.

The Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror, invaded and conquered England in 1066. As a result, the Norman language, a variant of French, became the language of the royal court and commerce, while English became the language of the lower classes. Despite these shifts in status, English continued to evolve, incorporating Latin and French words.

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The people of the British Isles overthrew French rule in the 14th and 15th centuries, and the English language regained its royal and commercial status. It was also a period of growth for the language in terms of literature and culture. William Shakespeare, for example, was a key figure in this development. Through his books and plays, Shakespeare added over 1700 new words to the English language, including ‘compromise,’ ‘deafening,’ and ‘cold-blooded.’

Due to international trade, the printing press, and classical learning, the English language underwent a series of evolutions and developments beginning in the 1600s. The colonisation of North America by the English boosted the language’s growth and popularity even more. The language continues to evolve and grow, incorporating words from various English-speaking countries as well as newly invented words for business and technology.

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