Read PL!

The 31st of October saw the end of Czytaj PL! – the largest campaign promoting reading in the country. Its success is visible in the results: 20 000 borrowed e-books and their fragments, as well as over 500 titles in national and local media. Throughout October, several hundred thousand people saw the covers of the 12 bestselling titles presented in the Czytaj PL! campaign at over 300 bus stops in Krakow, Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Wrocław and Warsaw.

“Thanks to the unprecedented cooperation with partner cities, we organised a reading promotion campaign on a national scale,” said Izabela Helbin, the director of the Krakow Festival Office, the operator of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme. “I am thrilled with its results. Not only the numbers, but above all, the reactions of the readers – thousands of positive comments in social media. There were also many questions from residents of cities that were not present in our campaign this year. We want to share our projects with a growing number of recipients, and I hope that next year, Czytaj PL! will cover more locations,” director Helbin added.

On 1st October, three hundred free e-book lending libraries appeared on the streets of the biggest Polish cities. In each one, users could borrow one of twelve books for a month, including Marek Krajewski’s newest novel, Marcin Wicha’s bestselling story about design, as well as Marcin Prokop’s funny children’s stories.

“We are very happy that the Czytaj PL! campaign was so well received by the media and the readers, and that it allowed them to encounter the best in literature directly in the urban spaces. I hope that thanks to our excellent cooperation with the Woblink.com platform and the Krakow Festival Offer, the Czytaj PL! campaign will become a permanent fixture on the map of literary events in Poland. We would like to see it grow from year to year, contributing to the promotion of reading in Poland through the use of new technologies and innovative book distribution models, as well as offering readers an increasingly better reading experience and the opportunity to borrow even more best-selling titles completely for free,” says Mateusz Tobiczyk from the Woblink.com platform, a co-organiser of the campaign.

Advertising stands at public transit stops in Krakow, Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Warszawa and Wrocław were turned into e-book libraries. To borrow a book, users had to download the Czytaj PL! mobile app, and then scan the QR code located beside the cover of the book they wished to borrow.

Among the available titles were both bestsellers as well as more ambitious publications. For enthusiasts of new technologies and crime, there were novels: Arena szczurów by Marek Krajewski, Kasacja by Remigiusz Mróz and Inna dusza Łukasza Orbitowskiego. For fans of something a little stronger, the e-book libraries contained the uncompromising interviews of Patryk Vega with policemen – Złe psy. W imię zasad and the first thriller 2.0 – Tomasz Lipko’s Notebook. Lovers of great literature could read one of the most important Scandinavian novels of the 20th century – Finn Alnæs’ Colossus. The Czytaj PL! libraries also had room for Marcin Wicha’s high-profile Jak przestałem kochać design. Also on the list of the available titles were: the latest novel in the Metro 2033 universe series, Robert J. Schmidt’s Otchłań, Evžen Boček’s light-hearted Czech novel Ostatnia Arystokratka, a series of reports about women in the 30s, collected in Marta Szarejko’s Zaduch, as well as Dorota Gąsiorowska’s Obietnica Łucji.

The Czytaj PL! campaign ran from the 1st to the 31st of October. It was organised by the Krakow Festival Office and the e-book platform Woblink.com. The project was financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as part of the Promoting Reading programme.