In countries where, as the saying goes, “people don’t read,” it is often the “Three A’s” – Availability, Accessibility and Affordability – that are behind this apparent disinterest in books.
Put simply, if the books aren’t available, aren’t accessible, and aren’t affordable, then many would-be readers will be missing out.
Imagine living in Manaus, the capital of the Amazonas state of northern Brazil, far from the hustle and bustle of Rio’s or São Paulo’s vibrant literary scenes.
But in a move to democratise the availability of Brazil’s literature more than 50 thousand students of the Municipal Public Network of Manaus will, from the second half of 2018, have access to the digital reading platform Árvore de Livros, a.k.a. the Book Tree.
Brazil’s PublishNews reports the Manaus Municipal Department of Education of Manaus will begin to use Árvore de Livros in all elementary schools, offering 10,000 titles from more than 250 publishers.
Kátia Schweickardt, the Manaus Secretary of Education said,
The Book Tree democratises access to the numerous titles of Brazilian literature, developing in students the taste for reading and the way they are more accustomed, which is using the digital media.”
It’s a big step forward for Brazil’s disenfranchised children of the Amazon, giving access to thousands of books that would otherwise not be available.
It’s a project we hope will be emulated not just across the country but around the globe.