During school days, we read books are our best friends who will never walk away from us. Undoubtedly books are our friends. It provides knowledge in different fields and enhances our wisdom and intelligence. From class one onwards we all read books and many of us continuously read books until our death. To popularize reading habits this year 23 April 2022 is observed as World Book Day. This is also known as World Book and Copyright Day or International Day of the Book, which is an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright
Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the scope of books – a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. On this occasion, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – publishers, booksellers, and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a year to maintain, through its own initiatives, the impetus of the Day’s celebrations. 23 April is a symbolic date in world literature as on this date several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all passed away. So this, the date was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books (unesco.org/commemorations/worldbookday).
According to World Reading Habits in 2020, (geediting.com/world-reading-habits-2020), by conducting research studies across the world they have found that coronavirus has changed our reading habits. Some of the highlights of World Reading Habits in 2020 research inter alia are:
India reads more than any other country, followed by Thailand and China
Printed books continue to drive more revenue than eBooks or audiobooks. However, physical books sales did dip because of coronavirus (not surprisingly).
35% of the world read more due to coronavirus.
Also, World Reading Habits in 2020 have given ranks which may be seen as below:
1) India (10.42 hours spent in reading per person per week)
2) Thailand (9.24 hours spent in reading per person per week)
3) China (8.00 hours spent in reading per person per week)
4) Philippines (7.36 hours spent in reading per person per week)
5) Egypt (7.30 hours spent in reading per person per week)
19) Spain (5.48 hours spent in reading per person per week)
20) Canada (5.48 hours spent in reading per person per week)
21) Germany (5.42 hours spent in reading per person per week)
22) USA (5.42 hours spent in reading per person per week)
It is pertinent to mention that ranks have been given by World Reading Habits in 2020. But interesting points are India, Thailand, China, Philippines, and Egypt are in the first five but so-called developed countries such as Spain, Canada, Germany, and the USA are placed at a comparatively low level.
On this Day of 23 April, as a senior citizen, I suggest that parents should encourage their children to read more and more books including newspapers. Reading habit is the sine qua non for leading a balanced lifestyle.