“Each form of the book has its own value in terms of education and the dissemination of culture and information. The diversity of book forms and content is a source of enriching knowledge: we must support its development through appropriate public policies, without allowing the depersonalization of culture.” From the message of the Director-General of UNESCO

April 23 is a symbolic date for world literature: on this day in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is also the birthday or death of such famous authors as Maurice Druon, H. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, J. Pla, and Manuel Mejia Vallejo.

It is only natural that the UNESCO General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, decided to pay tribute to books and authors on this day, calling on all, and especially young people, to find pleasure in reading and to respect the irreplaceable contribution of those who have contributed to the social and cultural progress of mankind, and established the World Book and Copyright Day and the UNESCO Prize for Promoting the Ideals of Tolerance in Children’s and Youth Literature.

Port Harcourt — World Book Capital in 2014

Each year, UNESCO and other international organizations representing the three main branches of the book industry — publishers, booksellers and libraries-select the World Book Capital for a period of one year, starting on April 23. This year, the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria was awarded this title. The selection committee’s statement highlights the quality of the city’s education program, in particular its focus on young people and its impact on the culture of reading, writing, and publishing to improve literacy in Nigeria.