April 23rd is the International Day of the Book. It’s official—the UN passed a declaration about it in 1995. Why did they pick that date? Well, it’s Shakespeare’s birthday, for one thing. It’s also La Diada de Sant Jordi, a major holiday in Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia since the fifteenth century. In English, we call it St. George’s Day.
Historically, Catalonian men gave women roses on that day, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—”a rose for love and a book forever.” In modern times, the books go to both genders, and half of all books sold in the region every year are exchanged on April 23rd.A few years ago, an independent bookstore in Austin, Texas decided to bring this tradition to the US....Read More