Nothing compares to a book

Annamaria Grafas with some of the traveling books. Photo Bruce Barnard.


Nowadays we can read via eBooks, tablets and iPads, but there’s nothing Annamaria Grafas loves more than to curl up with a good old fashioned book.

“I’ve got a Kindle, a tablet and a smart phone and yet none of those give me the satisfaction of holding and reading a good book,” says Annamaria.

“A lot of my friends are the same. We love the convenience of the devices, but when we’re sitting down to read, we just want to curl up with a book.”

Literacy manager at Literacy Bay of Plenty, Annamaria is leading the Bay’s Travelling Book initiative to celebrate the act of reading, as part of Adult Leaners’ Week from September 7-11.

Annamaria says the idea is to read a book before placing it somewhere safe and dry for someone else to pick up and enjoy.

“On the cover of the book there’s a little round sticker that says: ‘Enjoy this Travelling Book then pass it on’. On the inside it says: ‘Take this traveling book and when you’re finished, leave it in a safe and dry place for someone else to find’.

“They’ve been found all over the world.”

A joint initiative between Literacy Aotearoa and New Zealand Post, Travelling Books has been operating for around four years, but this month will mark the last one.

Book-lovers can pick up a book from Literacy BOP on Elizabeth Street from 12pm-2pm on September 10. There are 200 books to be read and spread around the city.

“There’s some novels, lots of beautiful children’s books, books about NZ and some written in Te Reo.”

To celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8, bookworms are invited to join a mass reading display at the new Wharf Street stage area.

“It’s basically a flash-mob,” says Tauranga City Libraries marketing and events co-ordinator Daniel Petersen. “Last year we got about 80 people.”

Daniel says the aim of the event is to raise awareness for those who cannot read or write.

Reading material will be available and free to take away as well as a range of spot prizes up for grabs.

The mass reading is at Wharf St Stage on September 8 from 12.30pm-1.30pm.

If wet, the event will be moved to the ground floor of Tauranga City Library.

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter