For those of you who did not know, from the 7th – 13th September it is National Book Week – South Africa’s longest running and most successful reading promotion campaign.
Why National Book Week? The South African Book Development Council (SABDC) in partnership with the Department Of Arts and Culture initiated National Book Week in 2010. It aims to mitigate the findings the 2007 study that revealed that only 14% of South Africans read books and over half of South African households (51%) do not have a single leisure reading book.
With technology taking over, less and less people are visiting libraries or feel the need to have books in their households, who needs an Encyclopedia if you have the internet right? I remember my ‘Oupa’ always saying “Knowledge is Power”, I never knew what he meant until he showed me his Books Of Knowledge. This was a series of books which literally had everything you need to know from A-Z.
Looking atThe figures above, this disturbing insight is a barrier to the country’s development efforts as reading and literacy are at the heart of personal growth, community development and a thriving nation. Having as few as 20 books in the home is proven to have a significant impact in propelling a child to higher levels of education.
Not only do books provide us with knowledge but it also allows us to dream, it ignites our imagination and takes us places we never imagined we’d enter. Take Harry Potter for example, I read these books and imagined myself as a student at Hogwarts, to this day I am still dreaming of becoming headmaster.
Furthermore, children who read are able to easily transcend hurdles often imposed by the low educational levels of their parents, their community’s economics or the political systems of their country.
Another favourite author of mine is Dan Brown, especially the series following Robert Langdon. Dan Brown’s books are well researched and highly entertaining keeping the reader engrossed in a maze of puzzles and intrigue.
The Honorable Minister of Art and Culture, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa explains his support for National Book Week. “The importance of reading in order to achieve success in life is foundational for the individual and essential for nation building and social cohesion. The Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy recognises the power of the book sector to contribute to job creation, poverty reduction, skills development and, above all, economic growth. Thus as such, the National Book Week is a strategic intervention to promote a reading culture that will enhance the prominence and socio-economic impact of the South African books sector both locally and globally.”
Books are like a treasure chest just waiting to be unlocked, with the turn of each page you are one step closer to knowledge….and yes KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!
This National Book Week 2015 publishers Pan Macmillan SA, Penguin Random House SA, and NB Publishers have heeded the call and offered a selection of discounted books that will be sold in Bargain Books and Exclusive Books stores nationwide. The public are encouraged to purchase a book for as little as R20 and place it in the marked donation boxes, these books will then be distributed to various communities. With your help a new world of wonder may be unlocked by a child opening a new book for the first time.
The #BUYABOOK Campaign opens up new opportunities. An opportunity to give. An opportunity to grow. An opportunity to read. An opportunity to discover a different world. An opportunity for more people to write. An opportunity for more books to be sold. An opportunity for more diverse books to be produced. The opportunities are endless. This National Book Week, join us as we take books to people. Participate in #GOINGPLACES and #BUYABOOK.
To find out more about NBW programmes around the Country, visit their Facebook for regular updates.
• Twitter: @NBW_SA
• #GOINGPLACES / #BUYABOOK