Photo: Nuvem de Livros
A Brazilian businessman has come up with a technological solution to the problem of high book prices and a lack of school libraries in his homeland.
To make reading more accessible throughout Brazil, Jonas Suassuna developed an online library known as Nuvem de Livros (Cloud of Books), which was inaugurated two years ago and currently offers more than 10,000 titles to nearly 1 million subscribers, who can read the content on their computer, tablet or smartphone.
Developed in collaboration with the Brazilian unit of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, the online platform allows users to access educational content and literary works without the need to download the material.
Suassuna, CEO of the Gol publishing group, a producer and distributor of multi-media educational and entertainment content, said his passion for literature runs in his blood as he is the nephew of Brazilian playwright, novelist and poet Ariano Suassuna.
The business leader said he was motivated to create the online library because of the lack of access to books throughout Brazil, a problem that is especially pronounced in remote areas of the country.
“The government signed a law that says that by 2020 all Brazilian schools, public and private, must have a library with at least one book per student. Anyone familiar with the reality of Brazilian public schools knows that will be very difficult,” Suassuna told Efe.
Given the unlikelihood that thousands of libraries can be built in less than 10 years, the entrepreneur found another solution easier to implement.
Pointing to widespread use of the Internet in Brazil, he said it made more sense to have digital libraries rather than physical ones.
Suassuna said one of biggest difficulties in carrying out the project was convincing book publishers to come on board, adding that they were particularly concerned about the possibility of piracy.
Nuvem de Libros is equipped with features that allows users to search through books chapter-by-chapter and find specific terms, bookmark pages or study interactive maps.
Students are charged $1 per month to access the service, while private individuals can pay around $3.50 per month for unlimited access to the content on any digital platform.
Nuvem de Libros is already available in Argentina and should begin operating in other Latin American countries and in Spain in September.