BY ANITA JONES ROEHRICK
April 23rd is World Book Day, first celebrated 1995. Also known as World Book and Copyright Day or International Day of the Book, this is an annual event organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). April 23 was chosen because it was the birth or death date for many famous writers globally, including William Shakespeare and Maurice Druon.
So glad my sisters and I grew up among books; our mother, Mrs. Irene Gaines-Jones, was a sixth grade teacher and school librarian, and I'm remembering CHILDCRAFT as a highlight; we had a complete set, dusty blue binding with gold text (maybe?) filled with child stuff: poems, rhymes, how things work, art around us, etc. BUT, of course, we had to use our brown Crayola to make the faces relevant; the one and only instances where Mama actually encouraged us to mark in books. At least those times have changed.
A relic from the past in my library today: I grew up reading this little sign behind glass in one of our bookcases...
"Books are to enjoy, NOT to destroy." Grew up with that refrain on the little metal sign above. Only recently did I bother to READ the text printed on the sign's bottom edge: From New Method Poster Contest by Vera Paine, Age 10, Antonito Public School Antonito, CO.
And the other sign: "READ ME, but please don't feed me!" Edward Spahr, Age 10, Overlook Elem. School, Pittsburgh, PA.
Where are you now, Vera and Edward? Do YOU still have this little sign commemorating your love of books 50+ years ago? Probably not, because unlike me, you're not a saver-of-just-about-every-thing.
One hundred countries observe World Book Day. Mark your calendar for next year ~ Thanks UNESCO...