"Our goal is clear – to encourage authors and artists and to ensure that more women and men benefit from literacy and accessible formats, because books are our most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building. "Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
April 23rd is celebrated in Spain as the Day of the Rose where traditionally roses were exchanged as gifts. To mark the death of the famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes who died on this day 1926, the roses were replaced with books as a gifts. This is where the tradition of exchanging books to encourage reading on World Book Day and World Book Night came about. The date April 23rd also marks the births of the following international authors Maurice Druon (French), Haldor K.Laxness (Icelandic), Vladimir Nabokov (Russian) and the deaths of Josep Pla (Spanish), Miguel de Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (both Spanish). Most notably April 23rd is also the date of the birth and death of William Shakespeare.