31 July 2014 Hunt for codes... and read for free!

We cannot imagine summer without sunshine, sunbathing and the sound of the sea, but can we imagine a perfect holiday without a good read? Here comes an excellent opportunity to all who love reading but could not find enough room to fit bulky volumes in their hand luggage. Thanks to the Czytaj KRK! mobile application, readers will be able to borrow the latest and bestselling e-books from the major Polish publishers for free and use them on their mobile phones! In the city, in the mountains, or on the beach – from now on the most interesting books will be always close  at hand. Ten various titles will be made available to readers during each of the three editions of the campaign this year. The August e-bookshelf will be filled with bestsellers of such authors as Ignacy Karpowicz, Stanisław Lem, Binyavanga Wainaina, Dmitry Glukhovsky, and Michelle Corasanti. Czytaj KRK! is a joint project of the Krakow Festival Office and Woblink, a Polish leading e-book platform.

This is the first action of this kind in the world – we have created a mobile application and we give readers completely free access to books. These are not items from the school list of public domain, but bestsellers and the latest titles. I am truly glad to say that no one before us has acted on such a scale – says the Director of the Krakow Festival Office, Izabela Helbin.

This year’s campaign will be divided into three rounds – in August, in October, and at the end of November and the beginning of December. During each edition, the users who download the Czytaj KRK! app will be able to scan a code from a poster, citylight, or another vector, and borrow the available full-version e-books, which will mostly include the latest and bestselling titles of the largest publishers in Poland. The free Czytaj KRK! application can be found on App Store and Google Play. Start looking for the QR codes in Krakow from tomorrow!

The project is designed as an e-book lending library, so the users are able to download one title at a time, which will remain active for 30 days. After finishing the book, they will be able to download another, noting that the newly-acquired book will replace the previous one. Each of the  three rounds of this year’s campaign will involve ten latest e-books being made available.

The titles offered during the August edition are as follows:

Ości (Fishbones) - Ignacy Karpowicz
Witajcie w Rosji (Stories of Motherland) - Dmitry Glukhovsky
Jony Ive - Leander Kahney
Kiedyś o tym miejscu napiszę (One Day I Will Write About This Place) - Binyavanga Wainaina
Drzewo migdałowe (The Almond Tree) - Michelle Corasanti
Kongres futurologiczny (The Futurological Congress) - Stanisław Lem
I jak tu nie biegać (Can’t Help Running) - Beata Sadowska
Haiku. Haiku mistrzów (Haiku. Haiku of Masters) - Ryszard Krynicki
Zamień chemię na jedzenie (Switch from Chemicals to Food) - Julita Bator
Magiczne drzewo. Czerwone krzesło (The Magic Tree. The Red Chair) - Andrzej Maleszka

All information concerning the campaign and the list of available books can be found at qr.miastoliteratury.pl.

Czytaj KRK! is an expansion of the 2013 project known as the Virtual Library of Krakow. It involved placing posters that resembled full bookcases at bus and tram stops in six Polish cities, featuring QR codes that, when scanned, allowed downloading free excerpts from nearly 70 latest and bestselling books. This unprecedented action aimed at the promotion of reading with the use of new technologies attracted the attention of major national media and readers. The free fragments had nearly 20 000 downloads in total.

The first round of the campaign included the participation of the following publishers: Cyfrant, Insignis, Karakter, Otwarte, Sine Qua Non, Wydawnictwo a5, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Znak, and Znak Emotikon.

The books are recommended by the campaign’s media patrons: LubimyCzytać.pl web portal, Radio Kraków, and Dziennik Polski.

The project is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.