On April 23, 1616, two great authors of universal literature died: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Three centuries later, the idea of creating Book Day began to take shape. That date seemed quite convenient, not only because of the death of these two classics, but also because it is associated with other important writers worldwide. In 1995, April 23 was proclaimed World Book Day, extending the celebration beyond our borders. What activities are carried out in Madrid to celebrate this festival?
- Continuous reading of Don Quixote. In the admirable setting of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, different personalities from the world of culture and anonymous visitors carry out an uninterrupted reading of Cervantes’ classic. The event will start on the 20th at 6 pm and will last about 48 hours. You can participate in person and virtually, it is better to make a reservation.
- The Night of the Books. It is a celebration that takes place around April 23, this year it will be on the 21st. Different cultural activities related to books are programmed, and bookstores and libraries are opened to get closer to readers. It has existed since 2005 and since 2020 it has a face-to-face and virtual format.
- Walk through the Literary Quarter. This area of Madrid is very pleasant to walk around as you move through pedestrian streets. This neighborhood is famous because important writers of the Golden Age of Spanish literature lived there, and quotes from their works can be read on the ground. For the celebration of Book Day, different activities are carried out, among which we highlight the visit to the Lope de Vega Museum House, where they pay tribute to the writer at this time.
- Sit on a book-bench. The Madrid City Council is placing 20 benches in the shape of a book in different places in the city where they will be for three months, their location and theme will vary. It is an original initiative whose objective is to promote reading. You can enjoy well-known and universal books like Harry Potter, new releases from contemporary Spanish writers like Solo humo by Juan José Millás, or classics like Fortunata and Jacinta by Galdós. All this under the incomparable spring sky of Madrid.
- Visit the Municipal Printing Press-Arts of the Book. It is a municipal museum that you can visit at any time of the year, but perhaps Book Day is a good excuse to remember that it exists. They carry out activities related to culture.
If you are a lover of reading, we encourage you to participate in these or other related activities. And if these dates are not convenient for you, don’t worry, you have another opportunity with the book fair in May.
Article written by Anabel de Dios Martín.
Photograph taken by Marta Hernanz.