23 April of the year is celebrated as the World Book and Copyright Day. The day is also called the International Day of the Book. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has been organising this day to promote reading, publishing and copyright. But this day’s history didn’t start in 1995 when UNESCO celebrated it for the first time as World Book Day. The original idea was of the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andres. His intention was to honour the Cervantes, author of the first modern novel Don Quixote, by marking April 23 as World Book Day.

Interestingly, on this day in 1616, another literary genius also died. The world knows him as the greatest dramatist of all times, William Shakespeare. While many countries in the world publish hundreds of thousands of books every year, Pakistan lags way behind in publishing books that can enrich people’s understanding and ways of seeing the world.

(Note: this sketch of the two characters of the novel, Don Quixote and Sancho, was drawn by Pablo Picasso.)