At the Virtual 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair, the International Publishers Association (IPA) partnered with LitCam and Aldus Up to organise a session called ‘Reading Matters!’. Held on 15 October, the meeting explored the new Reading Matters report published by the IPA and the Norwegian Publishers Association and the initiatives around the world supporting reading and literacy.
The event started with an in-depth look at a new Reading Matters report on the evolution of reading habits around the world. Kristenn Einarsson (Norwegian Publishers Association) highlighted some main results of the report: a global trend has emerged of decreasing traditional reading of books over the last 20 years, but with differences between countries – in some the curve has flattened, even shown a small increase. The decline is stronger among young, women read more; more readers read fewer books and less frequently. On the other hand, reading stimulation activities are carried out in many places and they can work; examples in the report can hopefully be an inspiration. Despite pressure for time and attention from other forms of entertainment, Mr. Einarsson argued the report gave reason for optimism as many respondents said they would like to read more.
The presentation was followed by an international panel on literacy that discussed best practices for reading promotion and thoughts about the way forward. Karin Plötz (LitCam) spoke about the importance of reading promotion and of motivating children to read and illustrated a project they carried out to use football to attract children to reading. Brij Kothari (Planet Read, India) presented a project relying on same language subtitling of films to promote literacy. Lily Nyariki (Association for the Development of Education in Africa) spoke about the importance of parents’ reading to children and also of the role of publishers in education. The panel also featured a contribution by Aldus Up on activities planned in the field of reading habits and reading promotion. Piero Attanasio (Italian Publishers Association) explained that Aldus Up would address the need to find new ways of measuring reading and look at the relation between reading and other forms of entertainment, as well as with education and training; the first step would be to define a new methodology for surveys and pilot it, since understanding current reading habits is essential for planning reading promotion. All European countries, added Mr.Attanasio, are invited to join and participate in the benchmarking exercise and discussion on the methodology.
More on Reading Matters! event
Watch the full video of the session
Read the IPA report Reading Matters: Surveys And Campaigns – How To Keep And Recover Readers