April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday! It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one. World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011.
World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23 –Shakespeare’s birthday– tens of thousands of people in the U.S. go out into their communities and give a total of half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.
Thanks to Books-A-Million I was able to participate in this event. It was an honor to be asked, and as an avid book lover I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with such a great event. A co-worker and I packed up some great books and headed to a nearby fast food restaurant. In less than 90 minutes we were able to share our own passion of books with 27 people. It was hard not to get so excited! Even the people we talked to got excited about the books, and seeing people walk away with a book and a smile made every minute worthwhile. I had such a good time and so did the people around us, and I am hoping I will have the chance to participate in this wonderful event again next year!