23 April – World book and copyright day

The idea for celebrating this day originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, St George’s Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold.

The date of 23 April is also symbolic for world literature, as it marks the anniversary of the birth or death of a range of well-known writers, including Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Maurice Druon, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Haldor Kiljan Laxness, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and William Shakespeare. For this reason, UNESCO chose this date to pay tribute to books, the authors who wrote them, and the copyright laws that protect them.

Additionally, this year an EU city – Wrocław (Poland) – has been named World Book Capital. Wrocław is the 16th city to be designated World Book Capital, after Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014) and Incheon (2015).


World Book and Copyright Day is an opportunity to encourage people to discover the pleasures of reading. It is hoped that this will lead to renewed respect for those who have made irreplaceable contributions to social and cultural progress.

The Library believes that the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day has never been so important, at a time when freedom of expression is threatened and when diversity is challenged by rising intolerance.

So, if you want to read about all EU-related issues – on paper or online – do not hesitate to come and visit us.

The Library provides access to a wide range of publications, from news media to books – including eBooks -, periodicals and newspapers, as well as specialised databases dealing with:

  • political science;
  • EU studies;
  • international relations;
  • all policy areas related to the European Union’s activities.

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