April 23 is carries such literary importance. Not only this day marks the death of authors, Miguel Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the possible birth and death of the playwright, William Shakespeare, April 23 is marked as World Book and Copyright Day, a day designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a celebration to promote reading and enjoyment of books. Because of its literary importance, this day was an obvious choice to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors and continuing access to reading.
As book lovers, we all know the pleasure reading and books give us. Reading and books have such a rich history and if you want to really dive into it, here are some great book selections that will help you celebrate the importance of reading on this great day:
The Social Life of Books: Reading Together in the Eighteenth-Century Home by Abigail Williams
Two centuries before the advent of radio, television, and motion pictures, books were a cherished form of popular entertainment and an integral component of domestic social life. In this fascinating and vivid history, Abigail Williams explores the ways in which shared reading shaped the lives and literary culture of the time, offering new perspectives on how books have been used by their readers, and the part they have played in middle-class homes and families.
The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite by Laura Freeman
At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control, and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.
As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food – and life more broadly – through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves’ appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf’s painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.
Connecting deeply with our kids can be difficult in our busy, technology-driven lives. Reading aloud offers us a chance to be fully present with our children. It also increases our kids’ academic success, inspires compassion, and fortifies them with the inner strength they need to face life’s challenges. As Sarah Mackenzie has found with her own six children, reading aloud long after kids are able to read to themselves can deepen relationships in a powerful way.
Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city’s manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants’ march into northwest Africa. But above all, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.