Kotobi.com launched, first Arab webstore for e-books

To foster reading in area known for high illiteracy

06 February, 14:18

    Kotobi.com launched, first Arab webstore for e-books Kotobi.com launched, first Arab webstore for e-books

    (by Virginia Di Marco).

    (ANSAmed) ROME - Kotobi.com, the first webstore where Arabic books can be downloaded and purchased online, was launched at this year's Cairo International Book Fair. The fair ended on February 4. The webstore offers several hundred books from about 40 publishers, available with a credit card or downloadable on mobile phones and tablets.

    The top supporter of the initiative is Vodafone Egypt, which notes on its website that the number of readers in the Arab world is significantly lower than that in other populations but that reading is a ''key factor in the development of any nation''. The aim is thus to increase the number of Arab-language readers. The project's supporters note that the low level of readers is due above all to the costs involved in producing and distributing books and a lack of libraries, which would be overcome by using digital means. The move has been lauded on social networks, while some sector blogs have suggested self-publishing platforms, an idea which seems to be hinted at in the very presentation of the site, which states that Kotobi's digital technology ''removes the obstacle to publication both for authors and for publishers''. The Vodafone Egypt initiative is expected to meet a need noted in the last Global eBook Report 2014, which said that digital distribution had the potential to foster knowledge in an area traditionally known for high rates of illiteracy, in part thanks to the widespread and growing use of electronic devices.


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