An Italian Ode to the Many Lives of One Book

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

The Italian Publishers Association has produced a song praising the “lives of a book” for a reading promotion, with revenues going to the visually impaired.

By Edward Nawotka

On April 23, the Italian Publishers Association led a national campaign to promote reading. As part of the project, they recruited 35,000 young “ambassadors” who posted some 100,000 social media messages in encouraging people to read, while more than 20,000 people attended live events in five cities — Turin, Rome, Vicenza, Sassari and Cosenza. Television stations RAI3 dedicated three hours of prime time programming to the event.

But the most impactful of all the may be the song composed by Samuele Bersani and Pacifico dedicated to books: Le storie che non conosci (Stories that you don’t know), which tells the story an “old book” and the “stories of its life.”

An excerpt:

Pagine unte con le briciole addosso
Cerchi olimpici di vino rosso
E una formica pietrificata del secolo scorso

A loose translation of which reads:

Greasy pages with crumbs on
Olympic rings of red wine
And a petrified ant from the past century

Revenue from sales of the song will be donated to the Fondazione LIA, the Italian Publishers Association’s initiative for supporting reading for visually impaired people.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.