The Jakarta Post
Monday, December 31, 2007
The Jakarta Post,
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono officially reopened
Gramedia’s newly refurbished main book store Friday in Matraman,
Claiming to now be the largest book store in South East Asia, at
7,097 square meters, the store has some 130,379 titles in its
Kompas Gramedia president commissioner Jakob Oetama said
Gramedia planned to build 20 new outlets (adding to its existing
81), including stores in and Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.
The event also saw the launch of the President’s second book,
on the Move, which is a compilation of his speeches
and articles from late 2005 to late 2006.
“I am proud, as we all should be, that we now host the largest
book store in Southeast Asia,” the President said in his speech.
“And I am proud to be here, to be a part of this event which
will enhance our nation’s interest in reading,” he said.
Oetama said reading and writing skills were imperative.
“Reading and writing is a key, determining the development and
advancement of civilizations and culture. It is a ‘conditio sine
qua non’ … for survival in today’s technological era,” he said
in his opening speech.
Indonesians have a relatively low interest in reading and
writing compared to neighboring countries such as ,
There were some 18.1 million illiterate people in
according to data from the Education Ministry. These were
predominantly children, however 4.35 million among them were
aged between 15 and 44 years.
According to Jakarta City Administration, around 1.2 percent of
Jakartan cannot read.
“Our nation’s reading culture needs to be examined, not to
discourage us but to strengthen our spirits and provide real
enhancement in reading and writing,” Jakob said.
There are 600 book stores in
national network while the remainder distribute to local areas,
Of some 1,200 publishers, 800 are members of Indonesia’s
Publisher Organization (IKAPI). Some 10,000 books are published
in each year.
The opening also saw the inauguration of the Gerakan Gemar
Membaca (It’s fun to read) program, by First Lady Ani Bambang
Yudhoyono who open the first book drop-box in Gramedia’s
Anyone will be able to drop new or 2nd hand books in drop boxes
placed in every Gramedia book store in . All books
received would be donated to needy children. (anw)
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