More than 300 visitors gathered between metre-high book shelves and cosy bean-bags on Thursday evening for the official opening of "StadtLesen" at the Offenburg market square. Franz-Friedrich Müller, President of the Board of Directors of Markant Handels- und Industriewaren-Vermittlungs AG and member of the jury, opened "StadtLesen" along with Sebastian Mettler, who launched the project eleven years ago, and the Mayor of the City of Offenburg, Marco Steffens. In his speech, he emphasised the great importance of the bibliophile event: "6.2 million adults in Germany cannot read and write properly," explains Marco Steffens. "This is why low-threshold offerings such as "StadtLesen" are really important."
Story time with Katharina Thalbach
The evening programme was then kicked off by the prize winners of the "Wortartist" school competition with their texts on the subject of "Our environment and surroundings, the earth we live on". Franz-Friedrich Müller emphasised how important it is for young people to get involved: "we received many strong entries this year. All I can say is: keep up the good work and keep being creative!" After the "Wortartist" prize winners were finished, the famous actress came onto the stage with great applause. She told stories such as "The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs" and "Rumpelstiltskin" with her expressive voice.
Not just something for bookworms: the Markant living room
Bookworms young and old rummaged through over 3,000 of the latest books at the Offenburg market place from Thursday to Sunday evening. Refreshing juice cocktails, ice cream, a table football machine, and a photo booth were also available. André Schalla, Head of the International Sales division at Handelsmarken GmbH, is pleased that the "StadtLesen" also provided the opportunity to make contact with a large number of potential applicants again: "our free application portfolio check was in especially high demand." Many visitors were surprised at the number of entry possibilities at Markant. "The colleagues in the human resources team and our trainees and students have shown great commitment throughout the weekend."
"That is exceptional"
Mayor Marco Steffens said a big thank you: "without Markant's financial contribution, this event would not have been possible." However, he also praised the company's philosophy: "every Markant Offenburg employee who took part in the "StadtLesen" campaign has been given one working hour for reading."