Lining up to mark book day

As far as celebrations go, the World Book and Copyright Day is probably one of the quietest.

No surprise, as those most enthused about the Unesco-designated special day presumably have their noses buried in a book.

But some children in China prised themselves away from their books to mark the day, celebrated every year on April 23, at their school in Hebei province.

To promote World Book Day, pupils from an elementary school in Luancheng District, near Hebei's capital, Shijiazhuang, formed up in the shape of the Chinese word for "book" at their school yesterday.

First celebrated in 1995, the day, also known as International Day of the Book, seeks to promote the enjoyment of books and reading.

April 23 was chosen for its significance to the world of literature.

Writers William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died that day.

As part of the occasion, Unesco, together with international organisations representing publishers and libraries, also selects a World Book Capital to encourage and promote publishing activities.

This year's capital is Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2019, with the headline 'Lining up to mark book day'. Print Edition | Subscribe