Books are a culture’s memory blanket. Not only do they entertain and delight, they also carry fingerprints of the past and roadmaps for the future. So, the value a reader derives from those written words is indeterminable. UNESCO’s World Book Capital program acknowledges the role of books in the development of a culture, a city, and a country.
Every year, a World Book Capital is chosen to encourage the culture of reading. There is no financial prize with this title, but the World Book Capital receives massive recognition. Readers should take a note of the city that gets crowned because all through the year, the winner organizes activities to promote reading and books. The nomination process demands that cities map out the activities and their plans for the year (including how they will secure funding), so you can be sure that the winner has a comprehensive, book-focused yearly schedule to interest readers.
For travelers, it’s a great way to get acquainted with a region’s culture, their writings, and their authors—their voices will echo through your travels if you pick up the books when you’re there, attend a talk or a workshop, or participate in the city’s book fair or local events.
Madrid won the first title in 2001. In 2018, Athens was given the honor, with over 600 book related activities. Guadalajara is the winner for 2022. Mexico’s second-largest city remains a hidden gem. It is a hub of history and art, and a food-lover’s paradise. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Octavio Paz Library, named after the Nobel Laureate. Originally built as a chapel in 1665, the façade was added in the early 1800s. Nearly a hundred years ago, artists David Alfaro Siqueiros and Amado de la Cueva painted a fantastic mural inside that took inspiration from the Mexican revolution. You must enter this institution to take a look at its vast collection of Spanish works.
I love this award. And I love books and travel. This is perfect!!!