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Each year, at the beginning of September, we celebrate National Book Week in South Africa. This year the initiative runs from 3 – 7 September.


Do you know that according to the South African Book Development Council, as few as 20 books in a home has a significant impact on propelling a child to higher levels of education? It is a known fact that children who read develop a better understanding of the world. When we read aloud to small children, it helps them to develop better listening skills and a better understanding of the written word.


The results of a 2007 study by the South African Book Development Council found that:


* 51% of South African households did not have a single leisure book in their home;

* Only 14% of the population are avid book readers; and

* Only 5% of parents read aloud to their children.


Further research revealed that:


* 45% felt that books were too expensive;

* 27% said they do not read because there is no library nearby;

* 22% said that books are too difficult to read;

* Some said that they had issues with language, that they do not have time, and that they find reading boring; and

* It was found that there are no coordinated efforts to promote reading in South Africa.

  (information gathered from https://sabookcouncil.co.za/national-book-week/history/ )


From this, we can see that most of the population do not read. Numerous programmes have since been launched by various role players to bring a love for reading and books to the people of South Africa; children, as well as adults. National Book Week, a project by the South African Book Development Council, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, is just one of these amazing initiatives.


Here are a few ideas to promote reading:


* Start at home. Read to your children – a lot! Discuss the book you read with them;

* If buying new books are too expensive, join your local library. This is actually something you can do with the whole family! It can be some lovely family time;

* Start a book drive with friends and family and donate books to charity; and

* Gift a book to a friend, child, teacher, colleague, or library and school.


There are so many wonderful reasons why we should read! And reading a lot, most of the time, develops a desire to pen down ideas; to write! Kwarts Publishers is passionate about books, and our mission is to help avid readers who want to become writers to realise their dream of getting published.


Self-publishing has a lot of benefits. Yes, it can get costly and can sometimes be a lengthy process, but at Kwarts Publishers, the author has the final say about everything from editing and layout to the marketing and selling of their book. We are there for our clients every step of the way.


Reader, take the leap and make the most empowering decision you’ll ever make: Publish your book and help someone to use their imagination, increase their brainpower, and build their vocabulary, to name just a few positive things about reading.

Let’s not only celebrate reading and books once a year but do it every day. Reading (and writing) has no serious side-effects after all!