Croatia is the First Country in the World to Become a Free Reading Zone

From today, all people within the borders of Croatia can read for free on the application Croatia Reads. Entrance to the virtual library is free for all.

Croatia, what is now an open digital library, is the first country in the world that is truly a Free Reading Zone, announces Buro247 on 6 December, 2016. From today in Croatia, the top 100,000 digital books from all over the world are available to you to read for free, anywhere within the Croatian borders and without membership cards or special codes. Croatian citizens and those traveling within Croatia can read a plethora of books from around the world, in various languages including Croatian.

So what do you have to do? All that is required of you is to download the free app “Croatia Reads” for Android or iOS smartphones and tablets, sign up, and read anytime and anywhere within Croatia.

The project Free Reading Zones was first introduced in early autumn when the Velvet Café in Zagreb became the first free reading zone in Croatia, becoming somewhat of a pilot for the project. Today, with the launch of the application, Croatia has become a country where a revolution has erupted in the form of books; the first time that a free library, rich with international bestsellers and academic books, has become available to all people within a state.

“This is the full democratization of the written word, something we so far have not seen,” said Mirela Rončević, project manager. “We have created a circle in which we all benefit, and at the same time it is for everyone regardless of their location and purchasing power. Sponsors support the noble mission which is equally related to culture and education and tourism and helps to spread knowledge everywhere, thus enriching society. Publishers, and their authors, are paid for reads (thanks to the support of sponsors), and people all over Croatia have the written word at hand.”

“It should not be important whether you are a member of an institution and whether you live in a city with bookstores and libraries in order to have access to books,” added Rončević. “We still approach the book depending on where we are and which institution we belong to. We still read what others dictate to us rather than what we find ourselves. There is still a very small number of writers who get a chance to publish. When the books are opened in a digital format, it creates new opportunities that will maximize every evolving society. Today we have achieved that goal, and that joy will be greater. Croatia has given the gift of free reading to its residents and visitors on the day of St. Nicholas.”

The power of the book is truly in the hands of the readers, and today they have started their new story in Croatia.