The Media

A book box for every family

Michele Bachelet Chile’s president has worked out a plan to change her country’s reading culture. She has come up with a scheme to give 400,000 of the poorest families a maletin literario or a box of up to nine books, according to this week’s The Economist.

“Ask Chileans what they are reading, and the answer will probably be Isabel Alende’s “La Suma de los Dias”, a memoir by their country’s best-known living write. If, that is, they read anything at all: in a recent survey, 45% said they never read books and 34% did so only occasionally,” reads The Economist.

 The books in the box comprise fiction and poetry for both adults and children. It ranges from Chile’s Ms Alende and Pablo Neruda to I.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”

 However the venture has also faced a rebuke from some critics who see the book box as populist gesture. “it is like dropping bank notes out of the sky ,”complains veronica Abud of La Fuente ,a charity that promotes reading, “who says that a plumber in a poor district of Santiago will actually want to read Kafka”   

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