The Book Fair and the Reading Movement Association (Läsrörelsen) have invited the leaders for Sweden’s eight parliamentary parties to participate in a digital seminar on reading during the 2020 Book Fair, that will take place on 24–27 September.
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19 September 2020 Web version
Opening seminar at the 2020 Göteborg Book Fair

Sweden’s party leaders meet to discuss reading for pleasure and for necessity
The Göteborg Book Fair and the Reading Movement Association (Läsrörelsen) have invited the leaders for Sweden’s eight parliamentary parties to participate in a digital seminar on reading during the 2020 Göteborg Book Fair, that will take place on 24–27 September. The seminar “What do you read – for pleasure and because you have to?” will be moderated by Bengt Westerberg, the Reading Movement’s first chairman and former party leader of The Liberal People’s Party. It will be sent directly from the Swedish Parliament Library on Thursday, 24 September, 2:30–3:15 p.m. An equivalent seminar took place at the Book Fair in the year 2000, in conjunction with the Reading Movement launching its nation-wide campaign.

“Sweden’s most prominent political leaders meeting to discuss the significance of books and literature can inspire others to read. Their meeting also shows just how important a book fair is for both arranging and maintaining a dialogue about literature, books and reading. Reading and language are decisive for our democracy and I greatly appreciate the collaboration with the Reading Movement and its efforts to improve literacy”, Frida Edman, director at the Book Fair in Göteborg says.

“It’s wonderful that the party leaders have chosen to put their valuable time on telling us about what reading means to them”, Elisabet Reslegård, chairman of the Reading Movement Association says.

When the Reading Movement Association started up at the Göteborg Book Fair in the year 2000, the parliamentary party leaders* at that time gathered under the headline “What do the party leaders read?” Now, the party leaders are gathering once again for a dialogue about literature and reading. This year’s participants are Annie Lööf (The Center Party), Ebba Busch (The Christian Democrates), Nyamko Sabuni (The Liberals), Ulf Kristersson (The Moderate Party), Per Bolund (The Swedish Green Party), Mikael Damberg (The Social Democratic Party), Jimmie Åkesson (The Sweden Democrats) and Jonas Sjöstedt (The Left Party). The dialogue will be led by Bengt Westerberg, the Reading Movement’s first chairman and former party leader for the Liberal People’s Party (now The Liberals), who previously moderated the equivalent dialogue 20 years ago.

The party leader seminar on reading for pleasure and necessity is an official opening seminar for the 2020 Göteborg Book Fair, which will take place digitally this year. It will be directly sent from the Swedish Parliament library and shown on Book Fair Play at 2:30–3:15 p.m. (GMT+1) on Thursday, 24 September, in the track Extra. The seminar is included in this year’s theme Reading promotion, READ! READ! READ! It consists of nine seminars arranged by the Reading Movement, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with collaborative partners. The theme highlights language and reading as cornerstones in a democratic society. The desire to read falls in the spotlight and dives into all kinds of reading: with eyes, ears, and fingers. From Thursday to Sunday, the theme will explore everything from narration in text, pictures and oral formats to literacy, book circles and reading aloud for children and adults.
All programs at the Book Fair Play are free for viewers this year and sent directly at bokmassan.se. There, the viewers can take part of all programs digitally during the fair days. The broadcasts can also be seen afterwards.
*Participating party leaders in 2000 were Lennart Daléus (The Center Party), Lars Leijonborg (The Liberal People’s Party), Alf Svensson (The Christian Democrates), Bo Lundgren (The Moderate Party), Lotta Nilsson Hedström (spokesperson for The Swedish Green Party), Göran Persson (The Social Democratic Party) and Gudrun Schyman (The Left Party).

About the Reading Movement
The non-profit association, the Reading Movement’s first nation-wide campaign began in 2000 and had the motto “Give your children a language”. Behind this initiative lay the steep decline of parents reading to their small children. Another impetus was the OECD survey which showed that twenty-five per cent of all adult Swedes had deficient reading and writing skills. The Reading Movement Association is also an expansion of the nation-wide Dyslexia Campaign from the late ’90s. www.lasrorelsen.nu

About the 2020 Göteborg Book Fair
For the first time in 35 years, the Book Fair will not be arranged in physical form. In 2020, it will instead be sent in digital format through Book Fair Play 24–27 September. This year’s Book Fair consists of 140 studio dialogues that are free for viewers and that can be reached at bokmassan.se The program will also be sent in collaboration with several media houses. Without an attending audience, the dialogues will be sent directly and recorded from several studios, including at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, at the Fotografiska Museum of Photography in Stockholm, in Malmö and in New York. The aim is to promote the essential dialogue and provide space for current literature even in a year like this. In total, some 440 authors, researchers, journalists and experts will be participating in the program, which will also be bolstered by digital dialogues produced by a number of well-known external organisers who normally participate in the extensive Book Fair program. This year’s themes are READ! READ! READ! and Digital Culture.

For more information, contact:
Charlotta Parkås
, press contact
+46 736 60 69 61

Read more at www.bokmassan.se
The Göteborg Book Fair takes Place at Book Fair Play 24–27 September  2020.
Reading Promotion and Digital Culture will be in focus.

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