It’s World Book Day today – well, in the UK and Republic of Ireland (something about avoiding school holidays, not a need to be different).

Originally organised by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright, the day is normally held on St George’s Day, April 23rd, in the rest of the world.

World Book Day 2011There’s lots going on for kids during the Day, including some at libraries currently scheduled for closure – I’m pretty sure this isn’t intended to be ironic.

And as night follows, er, day (sorry), World Book Night launches Friday in Trafalgar Square with loads of authors reading, prior to 1 million books being given away on Saturday. If you go on Friday, you can see the likes of Margaret Atwood, Alan Bennett, Nick Cave, John le Carré, Rupert Everett, Mark Haddon, Hanif Kureishi, Philip Pullman and more.

I have to say I like Nicola Morgan’s alternative idea, which is to go buy a copy of your favourite book at your local bookshop and give it to someone. Kills two birds with one stone – supports small booksellers and promotes authors who may not be that well known.

Happy World Book Day!

Note: this post will be republished on the 23rd of April…