Let’s Read Aloud

For the first time Georgia joined the World Read Aloud Day, which is celebrated in more than 100 different countries on February 24. Thirty-five Georgian authors visited schools, universities, bookstores, libraries and read their works aloud to audiences.

The World Read Aloud Day was first organized in 2010 by the Lit World organization. The main aim of the project is to motivate children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and create a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. The organization does not have strict rules of how this day should be celebrated; each country does it in its own way.

“Naturally, our main goal is to raise the issue of the promotion of reading and its importance. In addition, many are not familiar with our modern authors who write excellent works. That is why we decided that these people should read their works on that day,” said Gvantsa Jobava, organizer of World Read Aloud Day in Georgia and the Head of the Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association.

Georgian writers read excerpts from their books, and then initiated lively discussions with audiences in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi and Telavi on February 24. Jobava also noted that their project has aroused such interest among the citizens that where they were unable to arrange a meeting, people themselves gathered, invited local authors or just read their favorite books aloud.

According to one of the participant writers of the project, Toresa Mossy, it is a unique opportunity for authors to meet their readers and potential readers. “Mostly, reading a book is a relationship between reader and book, the writer is always somewhere apart. However, today we had an opportunity to communicate with the readers and understand what they like or not and their experiences,” she said.

In the framework of World Read Aloud Day in Georgia, besides public readings, the puppet show ‘Travelling through Books,’ was organized, with one actor performing parts from different children’s books. “When we were children, all of us dreamed of travelling into the worlds that books opened to us. Perhaps today we don’t read aloud, but we will bring books to life and hope that after the performance children be tempted to read the books themselves,” said Magda Revishvili, the creator of the Travelling through Books project.

At the end of the day, the winner of the Best Book Supporter Award was announced in the Writers House, Tbilisi. It was given to a person who has been most actively involved in the process of popularizing reading in recent times- Georgian politician, Doctor of Philology, and Professor, Levan Berdzenishvili, who conducted about 150 lectures in different universities of Georgia as well as in public spaces in 2015.

“Psychologists have proved that while reading, a person experiences the same emotions as if they actually took part in the story. Thus, reading gives you a unique opportunity you should not miss,” said Berdzenishvili.

Organizers of World Read Aloud Day stated that it is to become an annual event in Georgia and they are going to reward book supporters each year from now on.

Eka Karsaulide

25 February 2016 19:01