floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm
Last Updated : GMT 01:03:47
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm

London - AFP

Despite fierce storms, a deadly bomb attack and growing competition from electronic media, a Christian charity still sails the seas on a mission to offer cheap books while promoting family values. The \"Logos Hope\", which docked in Manila Bay last month, is the latest in a fleet of converted ferries that have been selling books in harbours of mostly poor nations for the past four decades. \"What we hope happens is that people get excited with reading,\" ship captain Pat Tracy told AFP during a tour of the 132-metre-long (433-foot) vessel that inside resembles a bookshop in an upscale mall. \"We want to encourage people to get into reading but we want to make the books available to all people, not just people with a lot of money.\" The ship carries at least half a million books, with stocks being constantly replenished during port calls, according to Tracy. It is run by GBA Ships, a German-based Protestant charity, that relies on a volunteer crew of 400 people and donations to meet running costs drawn from a global church network. In the air-conditioned aisles of the floating shop, children\'s books featuring popular characters such as Bob the Builder share space with the works of Shakespeare and Dickens. Another section is devoted to technical books on engineering and biology, which Tracy said were particularly popular in poor communities. \"Everything can be found in our books, from brain surgery to bridge construction,\" he said. There is also a large selection of books on nurturing family life and developing leadership skills, as well as other lifestyle genres including education, health, handicrafts, home repair and cooking. Many of the books dealing with personal development and relationships have a distinct Christian slant and even the fiction titles are largely wholesome and uplifting. The magic-themed \"Harry Potter\" books and the vampire-romance series, \"Twilight\", are absent. Instead, there are the Christian-inspired \"Narnia\" series as well as \"Hardy Boys\" and \"Nancy Drew\" titles. \"The books we sell have to fit our values and framework,\" said Logos Hope managing director Gian Walser. Tracy and other crew members said the sales of the books were just enough to fund the shop itself, while the other costs of running the ship required support from the global church network. All of the crew members, most of whom are aged in their 20s, are volunteers who sign up to work for two years for free. Usually, a local church also sponsor a volunteer\'s trip to help defray the vessel\'s costs. Although bookstores on land have run into tough competition from online sellers in recent years, Logos Hope staff said the ship continued to enjoy strong demand. Logos Hope has sold over three million books to roughly 2.5 million visitors from the 42 countries and territories it has visited, according to the ship\'s records. Arelene Santos, a Manila businesswoman in her 30s, said as she was browsing the aisles that she brought her entire family to see the ship after reading about it on the social media website Facebook. \"We\'re here for the books but the novelty of going on a ship to buy them is an added attraction,\" she said. Retired civil servant Adelaida Valencia, 82, said she liked the selection of books with a positive outlook. \"It\'s about loving your children, how to live longer and eating healthy foods. That is something you don\'t see enough of.\" GBA Ships began its mission of selling cheap books in poor nations in 1970 when its original vessel, the \"Logos\" -- meaning \'the word\' in Greek -- took to the seas. The ship sold more than five million books before it ran aground in bad weather in Chile in 1988 and had to be abandoned. Another of its vessels, the Doulos, was the target of a bomb attack in 1991 when it visited the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga, which has long had a reputation as a hotbed of Islamic militancy. Two young female volunteers died in the blast and many others were wounded, said Gian Walser, the Logos Hope\'s managing director. The government blamed the bombing on the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic extremist group linked by intelligence agencies to the Al-Qaeda network which has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in the Philippines. \"It was a crisis moment, a defining moment,\" Walser said, recalling the fear and uncertainty that followed. He said the group decided to press on although it made security adjustments. Its vessels no longer visit the troubled southern Philippines and also by-passes other ports around the world that are deemed dangerous. The ship\'s officers said they also made efforts not to ruffle local sensibilities, usually by working through a local church or charity group to prepare for their arrival. This sometimes requires adjusting the books on display and the group\'s cultural presentations to avoid any culture clashes. \"We are here to bless people. We don\'t want to offend people. We want to do what is right and appropriate,\" Walser said. And although GBA Ships is open about its Protestant background, its vessels have been welcomed in countries that are non-Christian such as India, Sri Lanka and several Middle Eastern countries. After the Philippines, the \"Logos Hope\" will travel to Indonesia, the world\'s most populous Muslim nation. In the meantime, GBA Ships is looking to acquire another vessel, confident that readers will continue to be drawn to its unique concept in an increasingly high-tech world.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Banyan Tree Phuket Takes Festive Season

GMT 01:34 2017 Friday ,17 November

Banyan Tree Phuket Takes Festive Season
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi

GMT 06:31 2017 Friday ,17 November

Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi
Arab Today, arab today Top Democrat faces investigation

GMT 09:50 2017 Friday ,17 November

Top Democrat faces investigation
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Baidu speeds up AI progress

GMT 11:46 2017 Friday ,17 November

Baidu speeds up AI progress
Arab Today, arab today Urban, young and active?

GMT 11:01 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Urban, young and active?
Arab Today, arab today Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success

GMT 08:06 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success
Arab Today, arab today Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 08:21 2017 Tuesday ,14 November

Nelly Karim focuses on humanitarian roles

GMT 09:23 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Years melt away as Bening & Bell play unlikely lovers

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 13:40 2017 Monday ,13 November

Pollution spikes in Delhi amid warnings

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 10:55 2017 Thursday ,16 November

UN warns fuel running out

GMT 01:04 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

In Morocco, a blue tourist town

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday