Wikipedia recently attempted to distribute books to Arabic-writing encyclopaedists across the region.
It was during a conversation between Yasmina Jraissati and Nadim Tarazi, director of La maison du livre that the idea for "Mubtada wa Khabar" (Subject and Predicate) first arose. It was 2006, and Jraissati had been an agent specialized in Arabic literature for two years, but was struggling to find independent information on books. Where was the Publishers Weekly of Arabic literature? Where were the best-seller lists? How could the information get out?
Although more widely celebrated in French- and Spanish-language publishing circles, Bibliodiversity Day -- or El Día B -- is a day to encourage the growth of smaller and environment-specific book trends (not the sparrow and the blue shark, but the dugong and broad-snouted caiman). In the words of bookstore owner and editor Guido Indij, it's also "to counter the North-South current in the spread of books and ideas and to push for counterbalance, from South to North, as well as across the South."
But even if we could all publish out of Beirut, how would readers find out about all these new books? And what of readers who want to know what's being published in Tunisia, and publishers who want to know what's going on in Oman, and parents who want to find the newest children's literature from Jordan (really, there's great kid lit in Jordan)?