Invest in a stranger: buy a book


4 September 2015

Local selected book stores in South Africa will sell books that cost as little as R20 each during National Book Week – 7 to 13 September – so that customers can invest in buying a book for a stranger less fortunate than themselves.

This initiative by the Department of Arts and Culture and the South African Book Development Council encourages booklovers to be part of their #BUYABOOK campaign.

Rejoice Mabudafhasi, deputy minister of arts and culture, said at the launch of National Book Week in Johannesburg yesterday that the book sector and business sector had provided books at Bargain Books, Exclusive Books, Pan Macmillan, SAPenguin, Random House SA and NB Publishers as part of the partnership of the #BUYABOOK campaign.

She said the campaign primarily aimed to encourage book reading; it targeted adults, children, youth and students, as well as librarians, teachers, parents and caregivers.

“Reading statistics report that only 14% of the South African population are active book readers, and a mere 5% of parents read to their children and over half of South African households (51%) do not have a single leisure reading book.

“Hence we deemed it fit that we continue to strengthen our partnership with the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) as we instil a culture of reading, with a strong focus on promoting indigenous languages, local authors as well as library awareness and access,” Mabudafhasi said.

It was through reading that South Africans would continue to ensure that their diversity and unique heritage united them as a nation. “Reading will take us on a journey to discover who are we as a people and embrace our diversity.

“National Book Week is an important initiative in encouraging the nation to value reading as a fun and pleasurable activity, and to showcase how reading can easily be incorporated into one’s daily lifestyle.”

Apart from #BUYABOOK, the department will also have a bus criss-crossing the country with reading ambassadors and story tellers. The bus features activities such as a toy library, poetry, workshop and a mascot called Funda Bala, who will distribute books to children.

National Book Week is a Heritage Month activity.