23 April is an event sponsored by UNESCO since 1995 to promote reading. It was chosen this day because it seems that three of the greatest authors of universal reading: the Spanish Miguel de Cervantes, the English William Shakespeare, and the Peruvian Garcilaso de la Vega, died on this same date in 1616.
In Spain, on 23 April is awarded the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, which is the highest recognition of literature in the Spanish language. On the basis of a Catalan tradition, the 28ª session of the General Conference of UNESCO, meeting in Paris, on the proposal of 12 countries including Australia, Russia, and Spain it was proclaimed April 23rd of each year “World Book and Rights Day”.
The aim of the day is to encourage and discover the pleasure of reading and to enhance the contribution that the authors make to the social and cultural progress of humanity. Cervantes and Garcilaso De La Vega died on the 23rd according to the Gregorian calendar while Shakespeare died on the 23rd of April according to the Julian calendar.
On the same day, in addition to being born Shakespeare, the French Maurice Druon, the Russian Vladimir Nabokov, the Colombian Manuel Mejìa Vallejo, the Italian writer Maria Majocchi, the French writer Elisabeth de Gramont were born, and the Catalan Josep Pla, the Italian writer Renata Viganò and the British naturalized Australian writer P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins.