Spain was the springboard for World Book Day, at the initiative of Vicente Clavel Andrés who proposed designating a Spanish Book Day to honor Miguel de Cervantes, author of the world’s first modern novel, Don Quixote de La Mancha. It took decades but in the end UNESCO took up the gauntlet.
Vicente Clavel proposed the designation of the 7th of October as Book Day to honor Miguel de Cervantes of the DON QUIXOTE fame on his birth anniversary. As a result, in February 1926 King Alfonso XIII signed the Royal Decree for the purpose. Decades later, UNESCO waded in and moved Book Day (World Book and Copyright Day) to 23 April, both Cervantes and Shakespeare's death anniversary. But the original idea behind Clavel's Book Day remains.