Monday, 22 November 2010


libros buenosaires
National Literacy Trust Policy Adviser George Dugdale said:
“Literacy is at the heart of education and social justice, and in the modern world it is increasingly crucial. However, recent international comparisons have revealed worrying statistics about literacy in the UK."
My suggestion, to redress the balance, is to get books to adults, and children, in a non-threatening situation. The youngest children mimic their parents. Older ones influence their peers. Get books into Starbucks
Increase literacy, one latte at a time ;)

"The most beautiful thing about reading is talking about it," said Hernan Lombardi, Buenos Aires's Minister of Culture. In April of this year, a new city government scheme was created: 

  • The plan was to put books on display in cafes and encourage patrons to pick them up and read them while they are there. 
  • The aim was to promote literature and to encourage adults to read. The first collection chosen was the works of the Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges. 

I miss Borders. Books and coffee: what a great combination. Many cafes, ranging from Betty's (deliciously quaint) Tea Rooms to the local MaccyDs provide newspapers. Imagine the scope and reach of a national scheme to increase reading by having libraries in cafes? Twitter trending on the great author debate - one author at a time. The coffee, and tea, shops of Britain - in town centres, train stations, shopping centres - all providing books to encourage reading and debate. 

 Starting one author at a time? Who would you select? 

If you are local, this event might be inspirational:
Life Stories Cafe:  True Storytelling Event 

Woolfson &Tay, a new independent bookshop, cafe, and gallery in Bermondsey Square, London SE1, has a programme of events including author talks, poetry open mics, and photo exhibits.  In December they are introducing: The Life Stories Cafe, inaugurated by poet Dorothea Smartt. 

Friday, Dec. 3   7.00 pm   £5   Bring your own wine - corkage applies.


  1. I ditto Matthew. A great idea. Friends of ours opened a wine bar in our village. They had newspapers and books on a shelf, it was so popular with the expats. I loved my coffee time there. I miss it (Sadly closed due to ill health).

    If I still lived in the UK, I would have loved to visit that bookstore!

  2. Hi Matthew,
    Can't claim it all for my own but I would love to see it roll-out here :)

    Hi Glynis
    what a shame you lost your literary cafebar. I miss Borders. Imagine the one push in individual authors. Sparking-ling debates nationally?!

  3. Hi Elaine. I love cafes with books. The nearest to my home is Waterstones. They should have cafes in all bookshops! :)