Amazon got its start as an online destination for books, which can be hard to remember when it's now a destination from everything from fresh groceries to original programming. But occasionally, we get a reminder of the retail giant's print roots. If it's been a while, we have a new reason that will warm your heart.
Monday, April 23 is World Book Day. Organized by UNESCO, the day is meant to promote world literacy as well as a love of reading. This year, Amazon is celebrating in a few ways. For starters, Kindle readers have until Monday to download nine free books from around the world. In addition to being from countries across the globe, the books also span genres and include fantasy, literary fiction, and suspense.
A second, heartwarming way Amazon is commemorating the day? By running a giant book drive both online and in its brick-and-mortar bookstores. Amazon is already donating to local children's literacy programs in communities that have bookstores, and is additionally encouraging customers to pick up children's books on their own to donate.
Don't live near an Amazon bookstore? No problem. Literacy programs that Amazon partnered with are listed on the Amazon bookstore webpage, and you can look at their existing wishlists and pick a book to contribute. You can also see if any local literacy programs closer to your own home have Amazon wishlists, opportunities to give money, or drop-off donation centers for new or gently used books.
World Book Day has roots in Spain, and was chosen for April 23 because it was the day that authors Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. UNESCO adopted it as an official holiday in 1995. This year, World Book Day falls on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, giving this year's celebration additional emphasis on the freedom of expression.