President Felipe Calderón signed the Law to Encourage Reading and Books at the official Los Pinos Residence this week.
This law, he explained, will be a legal instrument, which, while not sufficient, will be crucial to supporting education, the dissemination of books, the habit of reading and the desire to learn.
Accompanied by Public Education Secretary (SEP) Josefina Vázquez Mota, the President hailed the work of the Chambers of Deputies and Senators and the previous and current legislation and their efforts to promote discussion, conciliation, dialogue and understanding to ensure passage of this law.
He explained that the Law to Encourage Reading acknowledges the need for a greater effort to increase the number of sales points of books, promote the diversification of titles and encourage a healthy distribution and commercialization policy.
He added that in order to promote the creation and distribution of books, as a result of this law, the National Council to Encourage Books and Reading will be created, which will serve as an advisory body to the Public Education Secretariat (SEP).
“It will be extremely enriching for government to have this Council with which it will be able to extend the debate on the law and determine the tasks to be carried out. It will serve as a spokesman for all those involved in the processes of creating, producing, distributing and disseminating books and reading,” he explained.
The Prime Minister instructed the Public Education Secretary to coordinate with the popular housing policy so that households with the lowest income in Mexico will be able to have a basic library, with “approximately 15 to 20 books so that they can also have access to reading.”
“They should be simple and easy to enable Mexican households with the lowest incomes to have their first contact with books and reading,” he declared.
President Calderón pointed out that reading is a crucial issue in the construction of a better Mexico, as a result of which, since the beginning of his administration, government has undertaken several actions intended to encourage this. This is borne out by the fact that over two thousand titles have been produced since the beginning of this administration, totaling nearly 60 million copies.
He added that the chronic problem of the lack of reading in Mexico cannot be resolved by decree but requires a persistent effort to educate people.
“It is essential to transform the habits of information and entertainment we acquire as a society, and it is also vital to transform education, which makes it possible to encourage these habits at home or at school,” he explained.
Reading, he said, serves as springboard for the quest for knowledge and self-fulfillment and is literally, spiritual food.