Italian Winemakers, Booksellers Team Up for Reading Effort

on December 14 2011 2:19 PM
Glass of wine and book
Italian winemakers and booksellers teamed up in an effort to get the country's people reading. Reuters

A book with wine is mighty fine.

Italy has plenty of wine, but low reading rates in the country prompted winemakers and booksellers to get creative and help Italians realize that reading can be fun - especially when they sip on something yummy.

The winemakers of Santa Margherita teamed up with bookstore chain Feltrinelli and set up a short story contest six years ago, and this year's winners will get to see their short stories attached to 700,000 bottles of wine in booklet form, Reuters reported. Before, the stories were merely printed on the backs of the bottles.

Santa Margherita listed the three winners on their Web site.

People read very little in Italy, Santa Margherita's chief executive Ettore Nicoletto told Reuters. If we manage to stimulate reading with this contest, with these easy but very moving short stories, we can be satisfied because we helped to promote reading among common people who buy bottles of wine for their dinner.

Italy is not the only country facing a reading dilemma. A recent UK survey by the National Literacy Trust found that approximately one-third of British children do not own any books at home.

Our research found that book ownership is directly linked with children's reading ability so this is something that must be addressed, NLT head of development Conal Presho wrote IBTimes in an email. People with good literacy skills are more likely to have higher self-esteem, better health, better jobs and higher wages than those with poor literacy skills.

Still, Italy is behind its European neighbors in terms of reading rates.

When these bottles hit supermarket shelves, they will reach a public who perhaps is not that used to going to book stores, not that used to reading, a Feltrinelli spokesman told Reuters.

READ ALSO: Rob Lowe Writing Another Book, Titled 'Love Life'

More News from IBT MEDIA