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Archive > Illiteracy and Bookshops

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message 1: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments Hi!
I am a high school student in Mexico and one of my projects this semester is to create a company that is able to provide a service in different countries in the world that we feel could impact society in a positive way.
We chose to create a marketing and advertising company for bookshops, in an effort to try and "revive" the book industry and fuel literacy. The main product of our company will be a series of comic books that are inspired in classics (Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice, the Three Musketeers, etc) that end in cliffhangers, these comic books will be given out for free at bookstores in an effort to make people want to know how the stories end and buy the books.
The company will create a custom marketing strategy for the bookstores that hire it.
Could you guys give me some perspective on literacy in your countries/cities by answering to the following questions?

1. Do you prefer to read books in print or digital form?
2. Why do you think most people don't read?
3. What do you think is the best way to fight illiteracy?
4. What book made you fall in love with reading?
5. What books do you feel everyone should read?
6. Do you think that we should teach people how to read by making them read the "classics"?
7. Do you think that the printed book business is a dying business?
8. Do you have any comments on my project? Would you like to know more? Do you think this is a good idea?

I hope to hear from all of you soon! And if you are interested in collaborating in the project (we need artists, experts on literature, feminists and enthusiasts in general) please send me a message (: Have a great day!


message 2: by Kikki (new)

Kikki (kikki-not-kiki) First off, let me just say how much of an awesome idea this is! Kudos to you on coming up with this idea!

1. Do you prefer to read books in print or digital form?
I actually much prefer books in print. I love being able to hold the book in my hands and the smell of the paper and ink. Unfortunately with the costs of books being so high (some of the ones that I'd love to read cost $30!) the only way to get access to some of the books I want to read so badly is through digital form. It works as I get to read what I want to read but I much prefer books in print.

2. Why do you think most people don't read?
In my personal opinion, it can stem from a handful of things. People who read too much in school have been known to get bullied and labeled a nerd or bookworm and much more harmful insults than that. Having reading being stigmatized at a young age will definitely affect how likely you are to even like reading if it makes so many people say things about you. It can also be no one encouraged you to pursue books when you were younger that you were interested in. It can even be school itself if they push books on your or turn reading into a chore rather than the enjoyable moments it can be.

3. What do you think is the best way to fight illiteracy?
Teaching kids from a young age to pursue reading, not by forcing them to read certain books, but rather by encouraging them to try a variety of books and find what they like and pursue that genre. Encourage discussions on the books after and let them ask questions about words they might not know or an aspect of the plot they don't understand. Have reading be less a chore and more a dynamic aspect of their life that they feel comfortable sharing with you and talking with you about. I think starting while kids are young will really help with improving people being more inclined to read, as well as destigmatizing reading in middle and high school so people don't think its bad to enjoy reading.

4. What book made you fall in love with reading?
Ooh, that's hard to say. I read a great many books in my childhood, from the Warrior Cat series by Erin Hunter to Harry Potter to Animorphs to Dragon Rider, to Eragon to many many other titles. I can't say for sure which book it was in particular that made me fall in love, it could have been all of them honestly.

5. What books do you feel everyone should read?
I don't think there's any books in particular that everyone should read, since putting pressure to read certain books might turn people off of books. I think people should just be encouraged to read what they like and let them grow from there.

6. Do you think that we should teach people how to read by making them read the "classics"?
I don't think anyone should be made to read anything. Encouraged maybe, but never made or forced. If you force someone to read something, it makes them like the action a lot less than if given the option. Its like forcing a child to try a new food. If you push too hard they will hate the food even if they could have originally liked it.

7. Do you think that the printed book business is a dying business?
I think its not as strong as it used to be, for sure. I believe Digital books are why, because you can store a ton of books on a small device and carry them around, not to mention that at least half the time if not more, digital copies of books are cheaper than the physical copies.

8. Do you have any comments on my project? Would you like to know more? Do you think this is a good idea?
I think this is a great idea! I wish you a lot of luck on your project and if I can help please contact me and I will certainly do my best to do so~


message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Post (kristenpost) | 15 comments What a fantastic project! Good luck!

1. I definitely prefer print. I will always crave print books. My Kobo is convenient, however, for traveling and late night reading.
2. I think many people had negative experiences with something they were forced to read and therefore perceive reading as a chore. It's not! It's such a wonderful experience!
3. Show people how much you love reading. Enthusiasm is contagious. Communicate about books often.
4. The Nancy Drew series was my first book love.
5. For teens, books by Rick Riordan, Cornelia Funke, Patricia Wrede, Roland Smith, JK Rowling, Gary Paulson...I could go on and on! For everyone definitely the classics; one can't go wrong with Dumas, Austen, Eyre, Dickens, Shakespeare.
6. I think you have to save a classic until a student is mature enough to appreciate it. I read Austen in 12th grade and fell in love, but had someone handed P&P to me in 8th grade I may have turned up my nose at it.
7. I don't think print books will ever die out. I have yet to meet a reader who would get rid of their print copies. They may have Kindles, but a used book store or good library is still preferred to just downloading a copy. I do think book stores and libraries need to adapt in some ways. They have to become the core of a community, a place people enjoy visiting regularly. They may have to host book clubs, hold public events, provide coffee, etc.
8. I think your project is fantastic and wish you well. I'm a middle and high school reading and English teacher and only wish my kids were initiating something like this!


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara | 6 comments 1. I am pretty divided on the print versus digital debate. I love having a physical copy but belong able to have digital copies in my phone and kindle is really nice. I tend to buy whatever version is cheaper. Right now I think my book collection is pretty much 50|50.

2. I think that most people don't read because they don't have the time and don't know what to read. Also if they didn't find reading fun as a kid they tend not to read for fun as an adult. I usually hear from friends "I wish I could read but it's so hard to find a good book" or "I just never found reading fun".

3. I think the best way to fight illiteracy is starting as young as possible and making the process fun.

4. As a kid the first book series I really got into were the "Magic Treehouse" series. I also really got into anything by Caroline B Cooney and the Harry Potter series.

5. Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, The Kite Runner, and My Sister's Keeper.

6. I think that a lot of people find the classics intimidating. So I think you need to work up to the classics.

7. I don't think that the printed book business is dying out at all, despite the digital book phenomenon there is still a demand for printed books, it's just not as high as it once was.

8. I really like this idea of making the classics more assessable through comic book form, I'm interested to hear about the results! Good luck!


message 5: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Vega (neapoulain) Hi, Kessel!

The idea is really great! Also, is great seeing someone from Mexico here, too! Kudos! Well, to the questions:

1. Do you prefer to read books in print or digital form?

Digital. I love read in print form but my home's space is a real deal-breaker. So, I prefer digital for now.

2. Why do you think most people don't read?

The books are so so so expensive! You are mexican, too, so you must know that with the "equal prize" bill all the books are at the same prize in every bookstore and they are really expensive!
Also, while in elementary school, there are no great campaigns to promote reading: if the teachers don't read, how the students are expected to do so? And most of the obligatore readings suck (I still have nightmares with Carlos Cuauhtémoc Sánchez, a person I hope you don't have the pleasure to have known).

3. What do you think is the best way to fight illiteracy?

Make GREAT campaigns to promote reading. However, saying it is very easy, but doing it... I think that the school libraries should have more books offer and encourage children to explore them. Not to force them to read as a punishment (that is a really sucky thing) and not to force to read a book they don't like.

4. What book made you fall in love with reading?

Harry Potter & the Chamber or Secrets. And La peor señora del mundo (The worst madame in the world).

5. What books do you feel everyone should read?

(I'll put them in spanish, hope you don't mind). Cumbres Borrascosas, La peor señora del mundo, Cien años de soledad, Pedro Páramo, El llano en llamas. Also I recommend Cornelia Funke's books and Xavier Velasco

6. Do you think that we should teach people how to read by making them read the "classics"?

Yes... and no. As I teen I completely hated El quijote, but I loved Juan Rulfo's stories, mexican classics. I think that it depends on the classic. Giving a teen who don't read, this like Les Misérables or Guerra y Paz is a really bad idea, but short stories like the ones in El llano en llamas or Chéjov's stories are great for a start. Jane Austen are great, too, or Jane Eyre.

7. Do you think that the printed book business is a dying business?

No. Never. And I prefer digital.

8. Do you have any comments on my project? Would you like to know more? Do you think this is a good idea?

YES, I absolutely want to know more. I think is an awesome idea and I hope it goes well.


message 6: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments Kodak wrote: "As and when I have a little more time to think about answers, I'd love to help you out (just having a board sweep/general forum housekeeping moment, hah!) with answering the above questions.

Best ..."

Thank you Kodak!! I look forward to your answers (:


message 7: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments κικκι. What doesn't kill me better run, because now I'm fucking pissed wrote: "First off, let me just say how much of an awesome idea this is! Kudos to you on coming up with this idea!

1. Do you prefer to read books in print or digital form?
I actually much prefer books in p..."


Thank you so much for you answer! You have helped me a lot with your thoughts on why people don't read. I will be sure to contact you if I need anything else. Have a great day!


message 8: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments Kristen wrote: "What a fantastic project! Good luck!

1. I definitely prefer print. I will always crave print books. My Kobo is convenient, however, for traveling and late night reading.
2. I think many people had..."


Thank you for your enthusiasm Kristen! Your answers are very helpful.


message 9: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments Sara wrote: "1. I am pretty divided on the print versus digital debate. I love having a physical copy but belong able to have digital copies in my phone and kindle is really nice. I tend to buy whatever version..."

I'm so glad you like the comic books idea, and I will be sure to let you guys know on how the project turns out! Thank you for your time (:


message 10: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments Andrea wrote: "Hi, Kessel!

The idea is really great! Also, is great seeing someone from Mexico here, too! Kudos! Well, to the questions:

1. Do you prefer to read books in print or digital form?

Digital. I love..."


Hi Andrea! I'm so glad to meet a fellow Mexican, I was so happy to read your reply both because you have very helpful insight (and Mexican perspective, which helps me a lot with my project) and because we have very similar reading tastes! I hope you not mind me sending you a friend request.

Also there is something that I wanted to ask you: the "equal price" bill you mentioned. Do you happen to know a bit more about that? Do you have a link? It would be so helpful! Thank you again.


message 11: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Vega (neapoulain) Kassel wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Hi, Kessel!

The idea is really great! Also, is great seeing someone from Mexico here, too! Kudos! Well, to the questions:

1. Do you prefer to read books in print or digital form?

..."


Not mind at all the friend request ;) (Already accepted it xD)

I am sure there is a link more helpful than this (something more official), but this is a magazine in which someone write a very interesting article about the "only prize" or de "equal prize" (it's Ley del Precio Único or something).

The bill was approved in 2008 and it was to save many independent bookstore from an inminent collapse. But the fact that all the bookstores sells in Mexico with equal prices has affected very much the competition. No bookstores (well, almost no bookstores) offer good disctounts or offers. In Mexico, having a bookstore that isn't El Sotano, Gandhi, El Pendulo, El Fondo de Cultura or others is very very expensive because people don't read (the last estatistic was 1.5 per year per mexican, I recall)

So, in 2006 many people thought that if they put a unique prize in every book, the competitions was going to be fair. Nobody thought who was going to put the price: the editorial houses. Once, talking with a girl who used to work in a library she told me they cannot do to much about it because every editorial house put their prices in every book. And yes: there were more expensive prices than before when, two years later, the bill was approved.

So, I am talking way too much, here are some links, including the one I was just mentioning above, the magazine. (If others are interested, all the links are in spanish, sorry). Also, the bill is called Ley de Fomento a la lectura y el libro.

Letras libres: La ley del libro en méxico
Precio único, ¿qué pasó?
Editores independientes: El acceso al libro y el precio único


message 12: by Stefania (new)

Stefania | 33 comments Hey Kassel! I'd love to help you with your project (well, at least I'll try ;) )

1) I most certainly prefer to read printed books. I know that the digital editions are more practical and you can have all the books you want with you always, but I love to FEEL a book in my hands, to actually turn the pages and the smell of a new book is absolutely wonderful...

2) Well I think they find it boring... They prefer to spend hours in front of a computer rather than read which is something I find bewildering. And then maybe because they never used to read, I mean probably even when they were kids they didn't read much. But these are just my opinions :)

3) Uhm, I think the best way is to start with children. I mean, if you can get kids interested in reading, in the future you'll have a generation who reads. And a generation who reads is a generation made of people who are able to freely think, who are skeptical (not cynical, is different), who don't believe everything they are told just because it is written on a screen.

4) I fell in love with reading when I was just a child thanks to Roald Dahl, you know, "The Witches", "James and the Giant Peach", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"...etc.

5) Certainly "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee because is such a wonderful heartwarming novel. And then "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley and "1984" by George Orwell which are two dystopias, very different from one another, but that describe very effectively some chilling aspects of the society in which we now live. I also think everyone should read "Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Wolf because it is a masterpiece of modern literature, so beautifully written. And finally Shakespeare! "Macbeth", "Richard III", "Othello", "Julius Caesar", "Hamlet"...etc. because Shakespeare is a master in enquiring and analyzing human nature.

6)I don't think you should teach people to love books using the "classics". Everyone should find their favourite genre and start with books that may have an interest to them, which may be the classics, but not necessarily. I know many people who like reading but hate the classics because they find them boring or they think they are not going to appeal to them.

7) Well, I hope (I hope!!!) it is not a dying business! No, honestly I believe it is not. I think people still like to actually feel books in their hands or to have them on their shelves. I don't think printed books will ever go out of fashion.

8) I think your project can actually be a good idea to stir interest in that part of the population who don't enjoy reading, but mostly because they never really tried it! So maybe if they take a look at those comics and see that some stories may appeal to them, they'll actually buy the books and start reading!

I hope my answers can be useful to you! Best of luck with your project!! xx


message 13: by Kassel (new)

Kassel Garibay (kasselgaribay) | 30 comments Thank you again to all of you for your replies <3 Thanks to your opinion our project was approved and we can now move on to phase 2, market survey! If you guys could please help me out with this survey I would appreciate it
https://kasselstrawberry.typeform.com...

Thank you so much!


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