Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spanish Publishers Call on The Don

Don Quixote, that is. The Times reports on a rather odd gimmick deployed by Spanish publishers this summer: "... strange characters have been spotted stalking sunbathers on Spanish beaches, wildly overdressed and acting oddly, even for this time of year. Little Red Riding Hood, Mary Poppins, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza [and Arturo Perez-Reverte's Captain Alatriste] are just some of the characters accosting tourists on the coasts, part of a novel campaign by Spanish publishers to promote reading."

Thomas Catan writes that the ten actors have visited Zarautz and Valencian beaches, where, "After acting out scenes from their respective stories, the ten actors fan out across the beach 'in search of readers to reward for their bravery', Don Quixote explains."

Here's where it gets, eh, weird. "Anyone spotted reading is given a Frisbee, a pack of playing cards, a bookmark or beach pillow." Bookmark or beach pillow make sense, but a Frisbee? Playing cards? I thought the idea was to keep people reading? Why not have a selection of books?