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Cheers to "the Book" on World Book Day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Devika Jina

In Celebration of Books & Those Who Bring Them into Our Lives

Today is World Book and Copyright Day, a celebration of all things wonderfully literary, an in particular a celebration of publishers, booksellers, and libraries! 

Launched by the United Nations in 1995, April 23rd is World Book Day, a day on which we can recognise and be thankful for 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."

It all started during UNESCO’s General Conference in 1995, when those assembled realised that it was wholly right to save one particular day on which all of us could join together to celebrate the book, and the inspiration and pleasure it gives us. Each year, a World Book Capital City is chosen, and this year it’s Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It was selected for "its focus on youth and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing to improve literacy rates."

I was the kid who sat in her wardrobe for an hour, just to see if Narnia was real. No, really. I sincerely believed that I would eventually meet Mr. Tumnus, the beavers and even Father Christmas. Even my small group of friends were equally convinced of the existence of this ethereal realm, and we shared an odd kind of solidarity in our belief. As a teenager, I couldn’t help but wince a little at how desperately uncool the seven year old me was, but now I think it’s quite brilliant. After all, it was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe that engrossed me and let me imagine a world where animals and humans could speak to one another, mermen and mermaids were real, and there could be an everlasting summer. These stories helped spark interests and build creativity that will last throughout my life.

As a self-confessed book geek, I get excited about this day because it celebrates the best thing that can ever be contained in reams and reams of paper. Over and above this personal pleasure, today is important because we are paying tribute to the original movers and shakers. With the book, we have the single most powerful instrument to influence individuals and societies for the better.

Of all our holidays and celebrations, I think World Book Day is one definitely worth marking. Without people sitting down to write books about the things that excite, worry or intrigue them, would we have come quite as far as we have? People write because they care about their subjects, and because of them, we are also driven to care. It’s an amazing movement, if you think about it.

From Mandela’s Long March to Freedom and Walker’s The Colour Purple to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Robert's Shantaram, our favourite books have us learning, laughing, weeping, or nodding vigorously as we relate to each word we read. It’s a wonderful feeling, and I wish that we all found more time to revel in it. 

It's not only great to read books, but also important to write them! It's how we share ideas, stories, knowledge, and events. It's how invention, myth, and history are made and remembered. What do you have to offer? Grab a journal and some of Steinbeck's favorite pencils, and write your book today.

So here’s to the book, the sweet escape, and the education it offers!

Devika Jina photoDevika Jina is Green Rainbow Revolution's rock star Social Media & Blog Intern. She has a background in Philosophy and Sustainability, and is conducting research for her Msc. She's also a keen blogger.  Check our her personal blog, Look Here, Listen Up! you can check out her material here: Look Here, Listen Up! 

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