18.04.2023 / Knud Wassermann

Celebrating the Book

In 1995, UNESCO declared April 23 as World Book and Copyright Day. The educational organization of the United Nations wants to promote the medium book and reading with this day and the related worldwide activities.
In Germany, World Book Day is celebrated as a reading festival with a whole series of activities aimed at conveying the desire to read and the joy of stories. "Ich schenk dir eine Geschichte" ("I'll give you a story") is the name of an initiative by Stiftung Lesen ("Reading Foundation"), which this year is giving over a million children in grades 4 and 5 the comic novel "Volle Fahrt ins Abenteuer" ("Full speed ahead into adventure"), written and drawn by Katharina Reschke and Timo Grubing especially for World Book Day.
The book on the web
On April 21 at 11 a.m., cbj Verlag (Penguin Random House publishing group) will also offer a livestream on its Facebook account for the occasion. The author and the illustrator of the graphic novel will read aloud, draw live and answer questions from the virtually participating school classes. The website www.welttag-des-buches.de also features a video reading with a background portrait of Katharina Reschke and other video clips on the topic of "How is a book created and how does it reach its readers? The tv channel ZDF children's knowledge magazine "PUR+" in turn offers a teaching unit on the graphic novel, and the topics of books and reading are also addressed around World Book Day in various ZDF children's programs and on zdftivi.de.
Deutsche Post's delivery staff also surprise customers throughout Germany with a book gift. The aim is to convey the joy of reading in a wide variety of households and encourage participation in World Book Day. In addition, 54 authors are going on reading tours again this year and meeting young audiences at a total of 91 readings in bookstores across Germany. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft von Jugendbuchverlagen e.V. (avj) and the Börsenverein are organizing this campaign for the 16th time.
Books – not only on World Book Day
Incidentally, the fact that Generation Z – people born between 1997 and 2015 – prefer to pick up a printed book rather than an e-book is confirmed by the results of a study by management consultants McKinsey. This is remarkable because this generation is often described as phone-obsessed and addicted to technology. Some of the reasons cited are eyestrain from screens, but also the practicality of books and social media trends like #BookTok. Some respondents also say they simply love the smell of real books or support their local bookstore.
According to the report, McKinsey found that book sales in the U.S. and U.K. have boomed over the past two years. Sales in the U.S. reached a record of more than 843 million in 2021, while last year saw the second-highest number of sales at nearly 789 million. This increasing popularity is due in part to Generation Z and its social media trends, he said.
18.04.2023 Knud Wassermann Editor-in-Chief of Graphische Revue