Germany celebrates ′Read Aloud Day′ | Books | DW | 17.11.2017
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Germany celebrates 'Read Aloud Day'

From the floor of the Frankfurt stock exchange to the concert hall of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie — hundreds of thousands of Germans read aloud or listened to children's books to help develop a lifelong love of reading.

Over 173,000 people in Germany celebrated National Read Aloud Day on Friday, the event organizers said, setting a new record for the nationwide participatory event aimed at getting children excited about reading and promoting lifelong reading skills. 

The Foundation for Reading, one of the day's co-organizers along with German newspaper "Die Zeit" and the foundation of the German railway, Deutsche Bahn, wished "all those who are reading aloud, as well as all listeners, a wonderful Read Aloud Day!"

Eager ears could listen to stories not only in schools and kindergartens, but also in the German Football Museum in Dortmund, the Frankfurt stock exchange, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.


Deutsche Bahn head Richard Lutz pointed out that it only takes 15 minutes a day to get children excited about reading for themselves later in life. "Studies show that it is never too early to read aloud," he said. 

Read more: German illustrator Wolf Erlbruch receives top award for children's literature

In 2016, an estimated 130,000 people read aloud, prominent politicians among them. This year, however, due to ongoing exploratory talks to designate a new coalition government, fewer federal politicians took part in the event, a spokesperson for the Foundation for Reading said. Still, regional and local politicians showed themselves to be just as adept at reading storybooks as making parliamentary speeches.

The regional chairman for the Social Democrats in Schleswig-Holstein, Ralf Stegner, read aloud to a "very awake class" at the local public library in the town of Bordesholm.

Twitter users shared photos or memories of their favorite children's books. You can check out more classic German children's books in the picture gallery above.

National Read Aloud Day began in 2004 with just under 2,000 people sharing stories aloud. It takes place every year on the third Sunday in November.

cmb/eg (dpa, AFP, KNA)

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