World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. The origins of the day we now celebrate in the UK and Ireland come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George’s Day – a tradition started over 80 years ago. There is more international information about World Book Day on the UNESCO website.
World Book Day 2008 in the UK and Ireland takes place on Thursday 6th March as the initiative is so well established in schools in the UK and Ireland it is important that it happens in term time to help children really make the most of this opportunity to celebrate books and reading. Most other countries hold World Book Day on 23rd April every year. This year World Book Day is a great part of the National Year of Reading.
World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. A main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd and numerous participating booksellers, children are entitled to receive a World Book Day £1 Book Token (or equivalent €1.50 Book Token in Ireland). The Book Token can be exchanged for one of the nine specially published World Book Day £1 Books (where stocked and while stocks last), or is redeemable against any book or audiobook of their choice at a participating bookshop or book club (terms and conditions apply).