The National Day for the Promotion of Reading is held on 24 March. It was established by Presidential Decree of 15 July 2009 to raise awareness of the importance of reading among all citizens, especially the younger generations. Unfortunately, in this regard, our country does not record any positive trends.
The latest ISTAT data on the production and reading of books in Italy, however, does show a slight improvement: in 2020, readers aged 6 and over are at 41.4% (+1.4 percentage points compared to the previous year).
The highest share continues to be among young people: 58.6% of 11 to 14-year-olds have read at least one book for a reason other than educational or professional reasons. Despite this, the number of readers in this age group has decreased over the past 10 years by 6.8 percentage points. Girls between the ages of 11 and 24 are by far the most avid readers: more than 60% have read at least one book in the last year.
To mark the Day, we would like to point out some of the initiatives of the Centre for Books and Reading aimed specifically at young people.
The second Cercatori di poesia nascosta event, aimed at pupils in Italian primary and secondary schools, was designed to bring out the creativity and poetic expression of children and young people, making them the stars through the Caviardage Method, developed by teacher Tina Festa. There is still time to take part until 11 April 2022. Information is available on the Centre for Books and Reading website, in the dedicated news item
Quando i ragazzi ci insegnano is the contest of ideas devised by Eraldo Affinati to encourage new generations to read. Now in its third year, the initiative is aimed at students from Italian secondary schools, in Italy and abroad, who have to submit their entries by 26 April 2022. Further information is available in the dedicated news section.
Also on the rich calendar of events of the Centre for Books and Reading is the BookTuberPrize 2022, national ideas prize aimed at young people aged 15 to 25 and organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - Directorate General for Public and Cultural Diplomacy. The prize aims not only to promote the exchange and circulation of books, but also to encourage careful and conscious reading that develops critical thinking through reviews. There is still time to submit applications before the 2 May 2022 deadline. Further information is available in the dedicated news section.
Also on the website of the Centre for Books and Reading is the shortlist of Ad alta voce, the Centre's invitation to tender dedicated to funding projects aimed at promoting reading aloud. The shortlist can be found in the dedicated news item>
The same site reports the announcement of the Italian Book Capital 2022 title being awarded to the city of Ivrea, chosen by the panel of judges chaired by Marino Sinibaldi, president of the Centre for Books and Reading, and comprising Gerardo Casale, Stefano Eco, Cristina Loglio and Valentina Sonzini.
Also of note is the guide produced as part of the project Books that entertain, that nurture, that heal: health services promote reading in the family, proposed by the Paediatricians' Cultural Association and supported by the Centre for Child Health. A selection of books for young children aimed at professionals, parents, volunteers and all those who support the development of children aged 0-6. The publication is available on the website of the Centre for Child Health, on the page dedicated to the project
Lastly, we will present the bibliography edited by the A. C. Moro Innocenti Library on the Day.