Roses and books

World Book Day screensaver

This article was first posted on forums, it is re-posted here, slightly edited, with permission.

Today is World Book Day. This international event organised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) got its start in Spain in 1923, where the commemoration of Miguel de Cervantes’ death by local booksellers combined with the celebration of St. George’s Day to create a new traditional exchange of flowers and… books.

The intent of World Book Day according to the UNESCO:
By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

According to the official site:

23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It 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. It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George’s Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. The success of the World Book and CopyrightDay 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), who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.

Last year a member of the MobileRead forum proposed we try to think of ways to make ebooks part of the celebration: for example, going back to the original Catalan tradition of booksellers offering a rose for every book purchased, and florists giving a small book with every rose purchased, and men offering roses to women who reply with a book, he proposes that we might give virtual roses for ebook purchases, or perhaps we could send e-roses to authors we appreciate (provided their work is available as an ebook, obviously!). Sounds like a nice idea to me!

Here is one way of making a virtual rose that you can send in an email or on twitter:

Feel free to share in the comments if you have any other suggestions.

How will you and your Cybook celebrate World Book Day? Who would you like to send a rose to? Tell us all about it in the comments.

UPDATE 23 APRIL 2013 : Here’s a rose for all our Bookeeneurs, in form of a screensaver you can download for your Cybook.

World Book Day screensaver
World Book Day screensaver

Continue the discussion on facebook. Send roses on twitter with the #WorldBookDay hashtag.

Happy reading!
The Bookeen Team

For more information:

World Book Day on the UNESCO site

World Book Day on Wikipedia

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