Written either on paper or on a digital support, books have always been considered a great source of knowledge for men.
Through their words they can convey feelings, widen our imagination and allow us to see reality from a different point of view.
They exercise their power on our mind: they influence it, they mould it, they renew and enrich it with experience.
Thanks to all these characteristics, books become an important element in people’s lives, and many are the projects especially conceived to invite everybody to read.
One in particular is the ‘bibliocycle’, a small library pulled by a bicycle offering free books of every kind to anybody interested in reading them.
The initiative, conceived by American librarian Alicia Tapia, aims at promoting culture to anybody. Riding through the streets of her city (San Francisco), Alicia travels from the most crowded to the most indigent and degraded areas, stopping every now and then along the way for brief periods of time. This way, passers-by can choose and take a book and, most importantly, also the poorest people have access to them. Whilst on her journeys, Alicia also accepts donations of used books to include in the library.
A simple and effective way to have a travelling mini-library always full of new titles.
Many are the initiatives conceived to advocate the importance of reading and invite people to do it.
In Italy, for example, we have quite a few ‘Ape libreria’, old Ape cars used to transport second-hand books and sell them to passers-by. A system similar to Alicia’s which has become popular in Sicily, Rome, Padua and La Spezia. You can sometimes also find libraries on beaches, offering bathers an opportunity to enjoy a good book under the sun. The ‘Little Free Libraries’ are one of the most recent ideas: books stored in little bird houses in cities or parks, usually displaying a sign saying ‘Free books. Take one and leave one’.
The concept has been quickly spreading throughout the country, from the Alps to the Salento area, and Biella has one of them too, in the park ‘Giardino di Angelo’ in via Carso.
These are all projects designed to motivate people to approach reading and learn from it. In this regard, emblematic is a quote by the French writer Daniel Pennac: “A good book saves you from anything, even from yourself”.