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Reimagine kids’ reading

The platform provides children with online access to reading material, including thousands of books.

The online platform provides children with access to about 8,000 books. The organisation behind the e-library, Qualibooks Group, aims to bring the fun back to reading.

“At the Qualibooks Group, our goal is to develop a reading habit among our young children, not only by creating physical library spaces, but also by enabling them to access digital library environments,” says Christopher de Beer, director of Qualibooks Group.

Available via the website or a mobile app, the platform provides children with access to books in 11 of South Africa’s official languages. The books are not limited to certain types of content and include a broad range of titles – from fiction to non-fiction.

“To clarify, is not a learning tool. It is not a place where that children can go to learn how to read. It’s essentially an online entertainment platform that makes a broad range of reading material available to children who want to read.”

The platform was initially targeted at schools, offering a cost-effective way for their libraries to give learners access to reading material online. Now it is available to the public at large, who want to introduce their children to a healthy digital habit, and/or expand their home libraries.

“We are a content curator, as opposed to a content aggregator. Other platforms offer free subscriptions and then if you want to read something you pay per book.

“We’ve embraced a model, like your major streaming services like Netflix. With, you pay an annual subscription fee and all the content on the platform is available without any time or usage restrictions. And as we add more books, those will also be available to you at no extra charge.”

To date, over 400,000 books have been accessed via the platform, with close to 6-million pages read over around 28,000 reading hours.

“We spent a lot of time and put in a lot of effort converting the books from a PDF into a digital reading format, so that the experience is as true to real life as possible.

“When we look at the stats coming out of so far, what we see is that most of the activity on the platform is happening in the afternoons after school and on weekends, which is exactly what we want. To foster a culture of reading and to build habits, we need to encourage children to read in their own time and at their own pace and this is exactly what we are trying to do.”

The numbers from the 2021 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) Report indicate a terrible picture of how our country is doing from a literacy perspective. 

“When we focus too much on the numbers, we forget that if we want to get kids to read, we need to make it fun. At, the dream is for this platform, and reading, to be seen as a leisure activity, much like watching sport of playing games online.”

* Visit website, or download the app here.

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