One of the things I love to do when I have spare time on the weekends, is to sit in cafés and read. There’s nothing quite like a lazy Sunday afternoon spent with a good book and hot coffee, surrounded by other readers with good books and hot coffee. So reading this BBC News article made me appreciate my lazy café reading time even more.
According to the article, today only 10% of Argentina’s population buys and reads books because of repeated blows to the publishing industry including the banning of books in the 1970’s, the economic crisis in the early 2000’s, and the recent boom in electronic media which has proved to be stiff competition for publishers. In contrast, a NY Times article from 2009 indicated that 50% of adults in the U.S. had read books in print or online within the previous 12 months.
Wanting to promote reading across the city of Buenos Aires, the government has set out to furnish cafés with books by great writers such as Pablo Neruda and Julio Cortazar. Other schemes are also in place to promote reading, including the giving away of books to school children so they can start to build their own collections at home, and large book purchases for school libraries. This is definitely something I like hearing about!
There’s a long list of authors I’d suggest to promote reading–perhaps Dickens? Camus? Twain?
Which books would you give to encourage new readers?