National Central Library has long been involved in national reading promotions to increase the population that actively reads and help more people develop the habit of reading. The end aim is to deepen cultural literacy and create a knowledge society. To promote the good that comes from reading and to be involved in a grand reading occasion worldwide—World Book Day, NCL extended a special invitation to renowned author Chinlun Lee to design four reading bookmarks and posters for World Book Day 2020. This is the first time that NCL has worked with a large group of online bookstores to promote reading, such as Eslite Bookstore, Taaze, San Min Book Co., cite.com, Kingstone Book, Culture Convenience Club, Wunan Books, Linking Books, and kimy.com.tw. Together we are promoting the “We're at Home Reading: Free Bookmark with Purchase” reading event which encourages the public to enjoy leisurely reading time at home while their new bookmark finds a home in the book they are reading. In addition, it is hoped that this event will increase public interest in buying books in order to help the book market recover somewhat from the overall market drop caused by pandemic, or even regain its former prosperity.
NCL Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng stated that developing critical thinking through reading is an important national soft power. Reading promotion takes a concerted effort from both the government and the people. NCL’s purpose in asking online bookstores and libraries throughout Taiwan to participate in this event is to increase the marketing channels and promotional effects through a joint effort in promotion and support. This will allow the general public to experience the joys of reading and develop reading habits in their daily lives. The posters and bookmarks that Ms. Lee designed will be shipped to libraries across the island, so that a reading ambiance can permeate each locale and that the public can follow protocol by not going out as much and staying home to read instead.
As the pandemic continues to ravage across the globe, “quarantine” and “social distancing” have become everyday words, causing no small anxiety in people. During this time, Director-General Tseng encouraged the public to stay at home and read while waiting for the pandemic to subside. In this way, not only can people let go of their worries and infuse themselves with the energy of knowledge, they can also effectively reduce the unease and stress of facing this stark pandemic. To help the public feel again the wonderful feelings of a tranquil life, NCL used “We’re at Home Reading” as the central design idea for the bookmarks to portray the enchanting experience of reading and to encourage the public to stay at home and read more. Pleasantly meandering through the beautiful world of books and words, letting reading accompany people in the gentlest manner through the highs and lows of life—this is reading at its best.
To help more people experience the wonder of reading and to enable them during the pandemic to be able to purchase books they like on online bookstores so they can begin a reading journey at home, NCL sought out many well-known online bookstores to collaborate in this project. A united response to this yearly reading event was created with the promotion “We’re at Home Reading: Free Bookmark with Online Purchase.”