I have a dim memory of the first book I ever had. It was made out of cotton cloth, its few pages were stitched together with course thread. It was The Little Engine That Could. That book along with a brown and tan teddy bear were my very favorite toys as a toddler. There was also a set of brightly colored small wooden blocks that were shaped like books designed to fit into a miniature bookcase that I enjoyed later. These toy books must be some of the reasons I love books.
I soon graduated to reading real books with the gift of several “Golden Books”. Later on, I liked to read old “Flash Gordon” outer space adventures and science fiction anthologies. In later grade school, I was an avid fan of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Before long, I read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Shortly afterwards I added The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn plus an anthology of other Twain writings.
As I entered eighth grade, William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was my book of choice. I’m sure Shirer’s book was a major influence upon my political orientation.
Without a doubt, books have been an integral part of my life. I cannot imagine living without several paper and ink volumes nearby. There isn’t one day that passes, that I don’t pick up a book to read a passage. So, every day is a book day for me.
Today, though, is World Book and Copyright Day nearly everywhere else. It is a continuation of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris, on April 23, 1995, that paid homage to books and authors. The stated purpose of the commemoration is to encourage everybody, particularly youth, to discover the pleasure of reading. The tribute aims to renew respect for the contributions of writers who have furthered the cultural and social progress of humanity and the copyright laws that protect them.
April 23rd is also the anniversary date of the birth or death of several authors. They include: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Maurice Druon, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Haldor Kiljan Laxness, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and William Shakespeare.
Today, World Book and Copyright Day, is the time to renew your interest and passion for wisdom and reading.