Great news for all of you who like to read while traveling (or whenever). Free Reading Zones are finally coming to Zagreb (and Croatia) offering thousands of free books on multiple languages for download on all portable devices.
FREZ offers the opportunity to browse and download free books via a dedicated app in certain areas around town. Those zones are usually public and semi private spaces like parks, schools, squares, bus and train stations, hostels and hotels, collages, hospitals…those who register on the app get to take the books they download out of those zones for a certain period of time.
The project is supported by publishers, libraries and organizations all over the world dedicated to reading and rising literacy, and is realized in cooperation with government agencies and private partners. The most important local partners are public libraries, which is great since they have been (locally at least) showing very little effort and were having very little funding to slowly adopt and rethink their role and reach in the ever evolving digital landscape.
Publicly founded access to knowledge (and some light reading) is probably one of the greatest gifts a community can give itself, and we’re super stoked we’ll soon be going digital with rented books in Zagreb. The project is already widely spread in the US, in no small thanks to New York based critic, editor and project lead Mirela Rončević, who is now bringing it to her old homeland.
‘Free reading zones are an attempt to eliminate unnecessary limitations and create a world in which access to books is a right, not a privilege.’ said Rončević. FREZ is developed as a public-private partnership, with the app being commercial for non library members.
If you are a US or Canadian citizen with a membership card from listed public libraries, you can already download books in Zagreb. You can check the app, libraries and books HERE.