Reader-friendly environments

Monde Nkasawe, Langa

Reading is not just the commute of words from pages to the brain. There has to be a foundational structure and an enabling environment for it, featuring, among other things, the following.

Each community must have a functional library, with books that reflect intellectually on what it is we’re trying to achieve by having libraries. There must be a consolidated national catalogue of all published books, from which each library must be empowered to source its collections.

Bookstores must be incentivised to have franchises in rural areas.

The state must establish a state publishing house which is dedicated to ensuring that all South Africans who write or have potential to write, are encouraged and are published.

National television and radio must encourage the reading and telling of South African stories, through a combination of things, including live coverage of book club events.