National plan to get more Brazilians reading

09/04/2006 - 18h46

Alana Gandra
Repórter da Agência Brasil

Rio – The National Book and Reading Plan (Plano Nacional do Livro e Leitura) (PNLL), which was launched last month by the ministers of Culture and Education, has the objective of increasing reading (the Brazilian reading index) over the next three years by 50%. Today the index is 1.8 books per year per inhabitant, which is considered very low even in comparison with other countries in Latin America. For example, the index in Colombia is 2.4 books per inhabitant per year.

The coordinator of the plan, Galeno Amorim, says that there is a long way to go before Brazil can reach the index levels in the United States and England of 5 books per year per inhabitant, or France, where it is even higher at 7 books.

The PNLL will implant public libraries, distribute books, provide credit for the publishing industry, create the figure of the reading mediator and create spaces for reading.

Brazil has between 10,000 and 12,000 libraries, says Amorim, adding that the problem is no longer access to books (in 2004 it was estimated that 14 million Brazilians did not have access to books, but that number has been cut in half). What are needed are concrete actions, he says. That means putting libraries in every city and increasing the nujmber of places where books are sold.

Translation: Allen Bennett