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Readers get free bookmarks for World Book Day

Readers who borrow library materials from any Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) today (April 23) will be given a bookmark in celebration of World Book Day.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has also organised various reading activities to mark the special day.

The events kicked off with the prize presentation and launch of an exhibition of winning entries in the "4.23 Reading Book Reports Competition" held at the Hong Kong Central Library.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Libraries and Development) Mr Michael Mak said the HKPL had arranged the "4.23 Reading Book Reports Competition" in support of "4.23 World Book Day" and to promote reading in Hong Kong. He said the aim was to encourage youngsters to read more books during their leisure time.

The competition received an overwhelming response, with more than 1,700 entries in a month, with many of a high standard.

In sharing his reading and teaching experience, Heep Yunn School teacher Mr Michael Evershed said, "parents, teachers, if you want to get your kids to read more, read more yourself--- there are many book treasures out there waiting to be read and shared."

One of the Book Report Competition winners, Miss Mavis Chui Wai-ling also advised other youngsters to make use of their time to read more, and inspire their writing skills by more practise such as writing articles to newspapers or participating in various writing competitions.

The competition, which was open to primary and secondary students consisted of five categories - Junior Chinese Group, Intermediate Chinese Group, Senior Chinese Group, Intermediate English Group and Senior English Group. A total of 25 winning entries were on display at the Foyer on the Ground Floor of the central library.

The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong had also arranged Canto-pop singer Kelly Chen to join the celebration today at the "Children's Reading Festival - Reading, Dreaming Hand-in-Hand" held in the Lecture Theatre of the Central Library. Chen will encourage children's interest in books by reading with them.

On Tuesday (April 27), children will have the chance to meet a famous author of children's books. "Meet-the-Author: Ching Yeung, Russell" will be held at 6.30pm at the Lecture Theatre of the Central library. The American-based Chinese writer will share with readers her English writing experience and the inspiration behind her award-winning novels, "First Apple", "Water Ghost", "Lichee Tree" and "Child Bride".

Since 1995, the date April 23 has been designated World Book Day by UNESCO as a worldwide day to celebrate books and reading. April 23 was chosen because William Shakespeare, the great poet and dramatist, was born on April 23, 1564, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of Don Quixote, died on April 23, 1616. Other famous writers such as Maurice Druon, K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejia Vallejo were either born or died on April 23.

Ends/Friday, April 23, 2004
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