What Keeps Mexicans from Reading Books?

It’s no secret that Mexicans aren’t exactly among the world’s leading readers of books. The absence of books in the homes of educated is frightening. So, too, is the dearth of bookstores. Any Mexican lingering alone over a book at a café might as well be committing acts of perversion and self-abuse for all the respect reading a book in public generates.

Books are expensive in this country, and that keeps many from buying them. Today the “book law” vetoed two years ago by then-President Vicente Fox was signed into law by President Felipe Calderon. The new law requires that all books, whether printed in Mexico or imported, be sold at the same price throughout the nation, forbidding discounting until the book is 18 months old and in stock for a year.  The rationale is that this step will encourage Mexicans to read more books.

If that makes a centavo of sense to you, I want to know what drugs you’ve been taking.


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5 comments on “What Keeps Mexicans from Reading Books?

  1. billiem says:

    Is this book law a joke? Makes me think of the price of HP computers….made in Mexico….that sell for about 1/3 more in Mexico than they do in the States. Mexico NEEDS more educated people. Give ’em books, discount computer prices, start something like the GI bill to educate more people.


  2. It’s no joke.
    Read the link the blog post following this one for more.


  3. Judy Snyder says:

    No wonder Fox vetoed it!!!


  4. Gerardo says:

    Sometimes I dream of having a Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore here in Morelia but I know it will go bankrupt in no time. It is certainly true that we Mexicans are not avid book readers. Maybe things have changed in the education system compared to my youth days in Monterrey, but I remember that in high school I had to read the classics of the literature like El Quijote, The Divine Comedy, Kafka, etc., and that certainly left some impression on me regarding my reading habits.


  5. Colleen says:

    Well it’ll be interesting to see if they get in touch with me at Donkey Jote Libreria in Guanajuato. I’m quite sure the price of books in MX has alot to do with the cost of getting them here. It’s very difficult even within MX. I am making a trip to the border this month to pick up more books. I have quite a few Mexican students who love literature and philosophy in English. But among my friends none are “readers”. They are educated and have good jobs but don’t read for pleasure.


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