Thursday, April 23, 2009
Today is World Book Day
In most of the world today is World Book Day. The date of April 23rd is apparently the selected date due to the (contested) fact that Shakespeare died on on April 23, 1616. Or if you like his birth which is widely assumed to have been on April 23, 1564 (and also happens to Nabokov’s birthday too). Interestingly Miguel de Cervantes also died on April 23rd. (actually their deaths were ten days apart as Spain had already switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, while England, ever the contrarian nation, didn’t switch to the Julian calendar until 1752.
And talking of British contrarianism - in the UK, birthplace obviously of Shakespeare, World Book Day is held on March 5th! I love being a Brit sometimes. You see there’s a clash as April 23 is already taken by England’s patron saint, St. George.
Anyway – World Book Day seems like a good idea to me whether in March or April or any month – so go buy a book. If you can’t think of one to buy look down the left hand column of this blog for possible inspiration!. In Taiwan the Japanese book chain Kinokuniya issued this rather nice card to celebrate the event.