World day of book lovers

What is this event?

On August 9, bibliophiles around the world unite in celebration World day of book lovers. If you read books in electronic form with the same thirst as the paper version, then you can safely join the celebration. Although a book in our traditional sense – thin pages smelling of printing ink and hard binding – has always been and will remain an object of worship for book lovers. Today, it is not just a piece of paper that contains a certain text, but also a valuable artifact.

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How did the idea to celebrate World Book Lovers Day come about?

Like many other holidays World day of book lovers was first introduced as an unofficial American holiday Book Lovers Day, later interest in it increased throughout the world.

It is worth saying that before getting to the shelves of bookstores, and then to our hands, the book went through a huge path of formation and development. The inscriptions on the stone were replaced by the stories on the scrolls, and many centuries passed until the time when the book appeared in the form in which we know it.

The ancient world

In the times of Ancient Egypt, papyrus was used for records. Papyrus is a kind of paper made from the stems of a plant that was also called papyrus. One of the first documents recorded in human history were the accounting records of the 5th dynasty king Neferirkar Kakai. These scrolls were written over 2300 BC. Papyri were folded into scrolls to make them easier to store and read. For this, several sheets (papyrus) were previously glued together. Later, similar scrolls were common in Ancient Greece and Rome. In Greek, papyrus was called biblion, and the book was called biblios, because it was through the port town of Biblios that papyrus was transported to Greece.

In ancient Rome, the book underwent rapid development. There were many papyrus factories here, and although the scrolls were written by hand, the book business flourished here. At the imperial courts there were huge libraries containing tens of thousands of scrolls. Bookstores functioned not only in big cities, but also in the most remote corners of the country. Large bookstores employed so-called stenographers who helped authors write and publish their books.

Roman scrolls are sheets of papyrus glued together wrapped around a stick. In the upper part, a label was placed, on which the title of the book was indicated. The book at that time was the result of considerable manual labor, so leather cases were used to preserve it.

Manuscripts on parchment

After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, its cultural influence on the surrounding states decreased significantly. During the Middle Ages, manuscripts written not on papyrus, but on parchment, were widespread in the Western part of the Roman Empire. They were kept in monasteries.

Before the first printing press appeared, reproduction of books was done by hand copying. This made books valuable and rare. The writers were different. Some copied popular records in large quantities. Others – calligraphers – worked on expensive and important manuscripts. There were also proofreaders and rubricators. The first compared the rewritten book with the original, the second painted the first letters of the titles.

In the 17th century, the tradition of indenting words was introduced in Irish monasteries. It made reading easier and simpler. However, this approach was finally adopted in the 17th century.

Medieval books were already different from ancient scrolls. Instead of the usual papyrus, parchment and specially treated calf skin began to be used. However, the parchment was no longer folded into scrolls, its leaves were combined into volumes that outwardly resemble a modern book. The covers were made of wood and covered with leather. Such books were extremely expensive, a calligraphically written and beautifully painted Psalter could cost a fortune.

Written on paper

In the 17th century, when universities began to appear, books began to be very popular. In order to speed up the transcription process, several scribes were involved, who copied different pages of the same book. Religious and non-religious publications were copied in this way.

With the advent of paper, books in Europe became much cheaper. At the same time, the intellectual level of people rose sharply, which was due to both the crusades and the development of higher education. At the same time, such an industry as the book trade gained rapid development.

Woodcut and the first printing press

The first printed edition in the world is considered to be a book printed by woodblock printing in Korea in 751. In Europe, this method began to be used only in the 14th century. To create a book, a wooden form with the image of a page was first cut out, then dipped in ink and imprinted on paper. In this way, it was possible to quickly make many copies of one book. The xylography method began to be widely used in the printing of images and playing cards. However, printing the book required considerable effort, as a new shape had to be cut for each page. In addition, quite soon the wood carving became unsuitable for further printing.

In 1045, China developed a collapsible ceramic matrix for printing books. It looked as follows – melted wax was poured into a shallow tray, on which hieroglyphs were placed. With the help of a flat board, the symbols were aligned, after the wax completely solidified, the matrix could be used for printing.

At the peak of development

The book’s popularity skyrocketed in the 18th century. Middle-class people bought expensive encyclopedias, educational and art books. At the beginning of the 19th century, a rotary machine was invented, which made it possible to type more than 10 thousand sheets per hour. At the same time, there was a tendency to enrich booksellers, book publishers, and book authors. Also, book publishers contributed to reducing the price of a good book as much as possible, so that even a person with a small fortune could keep an entire library at home. In the middle of the 20th century, 200,000 book titles were published annually in Europe. Today, there are more than 120,000,000 titles of books in the world.

How to celebrate World Book Lovers Day?

On this day, various contests and promotions are held in bookstores, libraries, and educational institutions. Young readers are told about the origin and development of the book, interesting publications are presented, meetings are arranged with best-selling authors. If there are no events dedicated to this day in your city, do not despair. This holiday can be celebrated alone with your paper friend. Therefore, we hide our smartphones, take out a good book and read. If you haven’t found one on your shelves, go to the library or bookstore.

Another opportunity to find a good book, and at the same time involve your friends in the reading campaign, exchange books. Another good idea is to create a reader’s club, where book lovers can get together and read in a circle of like-minded people.

When will we celebrate World Book Lovers Day??

Year Date Weekday
2021 August 9 Monday
2022 August 9 Tuesday
2023 August 9 Wednesday
2024 August 9 Friday
2025 August 9 Saturday

World day of book lovers


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