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Preparations for the South African Book Fair 2015, to be held in Johannesburg for the first time, are well underway. It promises to bring to Jozi a literary festival like no other, and will be held at the beautiful and historic Turbine Hall in Newtown on 31 July – 2 August 2015.

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In celebrating 100 years of contributing to education in South Africa on 25 March 2015, Oxford University Press Southern Africa (OUPSA) has launched its flagship centenary campaign, “Every child deserves a dictionary”. The campaign will see the educational publisher donating 20,000 dictionaries to schools across South Africa that would otherwise not have the funds to buy such an important and valuable resource.

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“Is SA keeping up with the global trends regarding the e-book?” This was the main point of discussion at this year’s Digital Technology Summit. The summit, hosted by the South African Book Development Council, took place on the 18 and 19th of March in Pretoria. The aim of this summit was to work towards a coherent digital strategy that serves the needs of all producers and users of books – individual readers of all ages, the book industry, institutions (libraries, educational bodies, corporates and others) and government.

Download the presentations and photos here

At the recent Digital Summit held 18-19 March 2015 in Pretoria, a representative of the National Department of Basic Education presented the department’s draft national digital strategy. The department will be inviting input from all stakeholders.

Read more here.

The underground library, a tiny one-room house with precast walls and a corrugated iron ceiling, was started after its chairperson Neo Mathetsa realised most young people of school going age in his community could not read. He then turned his one-roomed house, hidden behind his mother’s four-room house, into a library.

Read more on the Mail and Guardian

Frank Schembari loves books — printed books. He loves how they smell. He loves scribbling in the margins, underlining interesting sentences, folding a page corner to mark his place.

Schembari is not a retiree who sips tea at Politics and Prose or some other bookstore. He is 20, a junior at American University, and paging through a thick history of Israel between classes, he is evidence of a peculiar irony of the Internet age: Digital natives prefer reading in print.

Read more on The Washington Post


An application for the Bookmark magazine has been in the pipeline for ages and our dream has finally come true! With the generous sponsorship from Snapplify, Bookmark now has an App available on both Android and IOS. Download and read all the previous and latest versions of Bookmark for free on the Bookmark Magazine App.

A big thanks again to Snapplify for the offer and support.

To download the App for Android from Play Store click here and for IOS click here

You can also download it from the web store here



The global eBook aggregator, Snapplify, is partnering with Booksellers to sell eBooks from over 250 leading publishers.

Read more here

A busy year lies ahead of the book lovers and literary fans with exciting not to be missed events. On the radar we’ve got all the well known events like the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May and the South African Book Fair in July, but also some exciting new events with the first Indie Book Fair in South Africa taking place in March.

The Bookmark calendar is a handy piece to print out or save to make sure you don’t miss anything in 2015. Click on the image above to download it now.

Today (4 March 2015) marks one of the most important dates on the literacy calendar, World Read Aloud Day. A day set out to raise awareness of the importance of reading aloud across the world.
To celebrate this day in South Africa, Nal’ibali commissioned a new story, Sisanda’s Gift by Gina Mhlophe to share with the children in our lives. The story is available in all 11 official languages and can be downloaded on the website or on the mobisite.

To read more on this initiative visit the Nal’ibali website  and visit Litworld.org to find out how the rest of the world will celebrate this day.

Don’t lament the lost days of cutting your fingers on pristine new novels or catching a whiff of that magical, transportive old book smell just yet! A slew of recent studies shows that print books are still popular, even among millennials. What’s more: further research suggests that this trend may save demonstrably successful learning habits from certain death. Take comfort in these 9 studies that show that print books have a promising future. 

Read more on The Huffington Post

Print book sales for General Trade for the Christmas 2014 season had booksellers worldwide rejoicing, with headlines like “Print is back” and “Death of books greatly exaggerated” leaving physical bookstore owners in a frenzy of delight such as they haven’t known since 2009. Foyles, the UK bookselling chain, said physical book sales had risen 8% over Christmas while Waterstones revealed a 5% increase in December. But closer inspection reveals a more complex interpretation of the surge in sales of print books. Nicolene Finlayson zoomed in for some details.

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There has been much written about the passing of André Brink in the media and we at Bookmark feel for those in the industry who were touched by this great man. We mark his passing with some heartfelt comments from industry players on how André made a difference in South Africa.

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After a less successful South African Book Fair (SABF) in 2014, the board received some valuable input from members at the AGM meeting in August and introduced a few developments for 2015. Not only will this event now take place in Johannesburg, but it will also take place a month after the usual date. We asked new Programme Director, Batya Green-Bricker, to fill us in.

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Everyone has an opinion on the changes taking place in the publishing industry, as well as in the bricks-and-mortar bookshops. Some people even talk about a revolution taking place in the production of literary material. What seems certain is that dramatic realignments are underway and that the cause is very likely the irresistible march of technology. Clare-Rose Julius & David Robbins tells us all about the very first Indie Book Fair in South Africa.

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Nal’ibali (isiXhosa for ‘Here is the story) is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign that is bringing the power of reading and stories, in African languages as well as English, into the homes of SA families. Read more to find out what’s in store for Nal’ibali in 2015 and how you can get involved.

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What better way to understand an industry than by following the consumer? For the past four years, this is what a team of experts at Scholastic did, with the goal of understanding how children and teens are consuming media, specifically books in an era where technology is taking over our day-to-day lives. Elize Knoetze discusses the findings of the study.

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Reading and Writing Solutions is a registered NPO promoting reading as an integral part in the education and development of learners. Samantha Faure started this reading programme of intervention in February 2014 and tells us more about the project.

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With the back to school  period just behind us, we wonder why textbooks always break the bank. Mohamed Kharwa, Vice President of the SA Booksellers Association and the Academic Sector Chairperson, answers a few questions on university/college textbooks.

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Infobesity, infoxication – these two words describe the paralyzing effect that information overload has on our ability to make decisions or understanding of a concept, particularly in the digital space. Today’s marketers are finding it harder to be heard, while internet users are finding it increasingly difficult to manage the sheer volume of incoming information, much harder to keep from being distracted, and are increasingly concerned about their privacy. Alan Vesty delves deeper into this topic.

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