A LittWorld Preview: What the world’s students read and more

Daniel Bourdanné is the head of IFES, the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. A native of Chad, he previously directed an IFES-related publishing house in Cote d’Ivoire. Daniel will be speaking at LittWorld 2012 on what the world’s students want to read and why. We hope you’ll enjoy this pre-conference interview with Daniel:

MAI: As head of IFES,  you know more than anyone else about Christian work among university students around the world. What are students reading today?

Daniel: Today students are reading stories and fiction (they love stories), but in electronic versions. They spend lot of time reading text messages and Facebook messages (personal stories). They also tend to be more attracted by the visual, such as comics, etc. In places where they don’t have access to electronic reading materials, they will focus on the visual. The written word remains an effective tool for introducing students to Christian truth, but it is getting less and less effective.

MAI: Before your current position, you directed a publishing house in Cote d’Ivoire.  What kind of books do you believe are needed in Africa today?

Daniel: Africa needs books written by local writers or by non-Africans who have a good understanding of the African context. The books have to focus more on African context and challenges. There are huge opportunities in Africa to serve the fast-growing Church with contextual and high quality books, both in print and increasingly digital. Because digital publishing has potential to reduce costs, it may be helpful for African publishers to explore how they can better serve people who lack financial resources to buy books.

MAI: What do you remember about your experience at LittWorld 10 years ago?

Daniel: LittWorld 2002 was an exciting experience for me. It had a significant impact on my life as publisher. It was helpful to get connected with publishers from different parts of the world who shared similar challenges and to learn from them. The level of professional experience among the workshop leaders and speakers helped equip me to grow in my role. It was a life changing experience. I give thanks to LittWorld for providing such a wonderful opportunity that confirmed and shaped my calling to publishing ministry.  Since my participation, I keep encouraging people to attend LittWorld.

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