As the world mourn the recently deceased novelist Gabriel Marquez, Colombia has used World Book Day to pay special tribute to the author, with the President and other notable Colombians reading his work in public.
People across Colombia will honor Gabriel Garcia Marquez by simultaneously reading aloud from his novella “El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba” (No one writes to the Colonel.)
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, alongside his wife Maria Santos, the Minister of Culture Mariana Garces, the Director of the Ministry of Arts Guiomar Acevedo and the Libraries Director Consuelo Gaitan were due to start reading at 9:30 am at the National Library in Bogota.
Several writers and journalists have been invited to join them: Piedad Bonnett, Juan Esteban Costain, William Ospina, Jose Diaz-Granados, Roberto Burgos, Santiago Mutis and many others. The novel will also be read aloud outdoors including Colombian embassies abroad. The day of activities is due to end at 5pm.
The commemoration, called Gabolectura and held on Colombia’s National Language Day, is promoted by the Ministry of Culture and the National Library, aims for students, writers and people from all walks of life to read Marquez’s work in plazas, public libraries and schools.
El Tiempo reported that Library Director Gaitan believes that the National Library was one of Marquez’s most beloved places in Bogota.
“In the violent evenings when he studied law and did not want to pay for a coffee, he came to the music room of the Library. It was here that he learned to listen to classical music,” he said.
According to El Tiempo, the Ministry of Culture has distributed 15,000 copies of “No One Writes to The Colonel” to 1,404 public libraries in the country for Gabolectura.
The Ministry of Culture hopes that this will encourage parents to read stories to their children. In light of this, Alexandria Library has encouraged mothers to bring their children to the library to enjoy the various collections of fairy tales.
Later on this week, on Thursday and Friday, there will be special events held at the Colombian National Library. Between 6 and 8pm the members of the public will have access to interviews, documentaries and other audio visual content regarding Marquez.