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World Book Day 2012

November 8th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on World Book Day 2012
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World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. Since 1995, it has been celebrated all over the world on April 23rd, but in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland it is held on the first Thursday in March, a decision made to avoid clashes with Easter school holidays, as well as the fact that it is also the National Saint’s Day.

Drawing inspiration from a 90-year-old Catalonian tradition where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George’s Day, World Book Day UK was launched by Prime Minister Tony Blair back in 1998: several million schoolchildren in Great Britain were given a £1 special World Book Day Book Token (€1.50 in Ireland) to be redeemed against any book in any UK bookseller. Since then, the event has grown each year to encompass more initiatives, such as Quick Reads Initiative, a series of short books by bestselling authors and celebrities designed to encourage adults who do not read often, or find reading tough, to discover the joy of books.

World Book Day 2012 in the UK and Ireland will take place on Thursday 1st March and it is set for a revamp. Led by children’s marketing specialist – and Stirling alumna –  Kirsten Grant as its new director and Penguin’s Joanna Prior as chair, the new management hopes to achieve more than one million book token redemptions next year. As one of the many initiatives organised for the occasion, more than 1,000 guests are expected to attend the first UK-wide Online Festival, which is expected to take place on London’s Southbank and will be streamed live to thousands of children in schools, libraries and bookshops. WBD will also work with the Publishers Association to boost political engagement through the government’s Reading For Pleasure agenda.