Colombo (AsiaNews) - Tomorrow the Book Festival begins in the Capital, a literary review that takes place annually in September in the Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo. The fair will last until September 25 and hundreds of visitors from around the country are expected. Exploiting the curiosity of the readers the Archdiocese of Colombo has also organized its Press Week, September 19 to 26. After decades of inactivity it will aim to bring a book to each Catholic home and encourage reading in families.
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and the main promoter of the initiative, said: "With new technologies today, many theological, historical and spiritual texts related to the Catholic tradition have been translated into the local language, but unfortunately in the past always remain confined to book shelves”. The archbishop stresses that many of the books to be sold in the parishes were donated by individuals, through the work of a group of volunteers who collected various publications from house to house.
Fr. Benedict Joseph , director of communications of the archdiocese, said that the idea of the exhibition is to invite the faithful to read books, newspapers and magazines in several languages inspired by Catholic values. The priest adds that the parishes will organise events to sensitize young people to reading, with workshops, video and small seminars in literature.
"We received over 34 thousand texts of different authors and themes and now these books are yet distributed among the 114 parishes in the archdiocese, where the passion for reading is unfortunately not very widespread."
Archbishop Ranjit trusts in the interest and cooperation of all the clergy for the success of the event and announces that it will recur each year in parallel with the national book fair.