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Passionate readers? The new destination is on Lake Maggiore

The success of the XXXVI edition of Turin Book Fair it must mean something: this record attendance of 222 thousand people, the 800 stands, the 180 workshops and the over 2 thousand sold out events are probably a sign that readers have not disappeared, that reading has not completely gone out of fashion. In reality, recent Istat data say that in Italy more books have been published in the last year, but the percentage of readers has dropped slightly: those who read little read less and less, while those who already read a lot today do so even more.

«The impression is that participation in cultural events has somehow become a very appreciable substitute for reading. People participate regardless of whether they read or not. That said, ours”, he explains Elena Loewenthal, director of the Readers' Circle Foundation, «It's a public that reads, that comes to meetings in a targeted way, to listen to a certain author. But here I find it interesting and positive that culture has an offer that is increasingly varied in its ways and contents.”

And now the Readers' Club, which has its own headquarters Turin inside the Palazzo Graneri della Roccia, opens, after that of Novara and that of Rivoli, another space, again in Piedmont, to Verbaniaon Lake Maggiore, in the central Piazza Ranzoni, in the Praetorian Palace. «Each location has its own vocation», continues Elena Loewenthal, «And part of the identity is defined by the physical place, from the building itself to what surrounds it. Verbania, as we know, has a strong tourist vocation and for us this is a new challenge: for two years we have explored the area with seasonal events which have had good success and now we are leaving full time. The venue is beautiful, overlooking the lake, inside a prestigious historic building and we have already organized a program with meetings and activities: the intention is to attract a transversal audience both in terms of interests and age groups”.

And, given that the area of ​​Verbania is particularly evocative – with mountains, lake and botanical gardens – we would like to stop and reflect even more on environmental issues and sustainability. While the Rivoli venue is dedicated purely to music and the Novara venue, now deeply rooted in the area, has made itself known for its particular attention to children: the Festival Doodles (the next one is 13 – 15 September 2024) has become a reference: «It gathers an audience that also comes from Milan».

And then – who knows – we will also go to Verbania on purpose, ready to be amazed by a rich programme.

But one last question remains for Elena Loewenthal: any reading advice?
«I am always reluctant and I always say to go to the bookshop and choose: I believe that reading is an exercise in freedom. Having said that, at this moment I would recommend it The island and the time of Claudia Lanteri, published by Einaudi: it is a novel in the fullest and most evocative sense of the term.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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