Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Get ready to read, get ready for world book and copyright day

Today I came back from lunch to find a small present on my chair. One of my colleagues in the library had put a small book and book mark issued specially by le Lobby suisse du livre (the Swiss book lobby) for world book and copyright day which will take place on April 23.
The book is only a dozen pages or so of a beautiful essay by a Genevan poet, journalist and traveller Nicolas Bouvier called Sur les routes du Pakistan, la descente vers l'Inde.
The story doesn't just make you want to read but also makes you want to travel. The Swiss book lobby's slogan is "Lesezeit ist Reisezeit ~ Lire c'est voyager ~ Leggere è viaggiare" - to read ist to travel or reading time is journey time.
Thinking about copyright I remembered that my colleagues in the WCC's worship resource centre have recently brought out a book on copyleft which is called "love to share" and is about intellectual property rights, copyright and the Christian churches. You can get a download of it here.
"While it is important to understand the logic of the market and the laws and regulations that apply to intellectual property, there are other issues that need to be taken into consideration. This document aims to give some direction and guidelines in this task of searching for alternatives to the current situation. It is an effort to raise questions and clarify some possible solutions and alternatives."

And if you're wondering why April 23 is World Book Day than you can read this from the UNESCO website - the idea comes from Catalonia and is linked to St George's day. Now who was the patron saint of books? Actually I think I'm more interested in having a national holiday to have some reading time - national sofa, cup of tea and good book day, yes please.

"23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold."