Post gives away books in Hückeswagen

For World Book Day
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Post gives away books in Hückeswagen

Postman Ralph Vesper distributes reading material to residents in his delivery area between Grossenscheidt and Posthäuschen. Deutsche Post is thus expanding its campaign for schoolchildren on World Book Day.

When Ralph Vesper pulls up in his yellow postbus, the residents’ doors open almost automatically. This was also the case on Tuesday morning in Grossenscheidt between Kölner Strasse and K 5. This time, the Deutsche Post deliverer not only had letters and parcels with him, but also a surprise in the form of two yellow postal boxes full of reading material: for World Book Day, he was giving away in his delivery district books of different genres to the delighted customers.

Sigrid Kotthaus looks surprised at first when Vesper hands her the box with the books. The resident of Grossenscheidt decides on a novel by Jan Weiler. Neighbor Sandra Kaufman is also happy about the book gift. “I haven’t read for a long time – you hardly take the time to do it,” she says. She reaches for a non-fiction book by Harald Lesch, Professor of Astrophysics, about the universe. The reading should shorten an upcoming hospital stay.

The recipients of the presents are very pleased that not only schoolchildren are able to enjoy the Swiss Post book campaign. Postman Ralph Vesper has two boxes full of reading material with him, with which he will surprise customers between Grossenscheidt and the post office in the next few days. With this, Deutsche Post wants to bring the joy of reading to a large number of households and encourage people to read. The box contains many bestsellers, such as “The Last Sentence” by Robert Seethaler, “Fox Girl” by Maria Grund or “The Weight of Words” by Pascal Mercier.

The books are distributed by individual postmen at the front doors. Vesper already has experience with this: more than ten years ago he was one of the deliverers who delivered the new volume to the fanatical fans of Harry Potter the night before it was published in bookstores. The postmen were on duty from midnight. “I was also one of the night owls,” the Hückeswagen native recalls with a laugh. The Harry Potter books had to be pre-ordered and of course paid for in advance for the nightly delivery. The residents in Ralph Vesper’s catchment area don’t have to do that this time.

All 30 books should be distributed within the next two weeks. That fits in well with the timing, as the delivery staff have just finished delivering the voting notifications for the state election. The Hückeswagen postman is happy to put up with the extra work. At the front doors, he encounters very different, sometimes skeptical reactions – after all, it’s not often that something is given as a gift. Sigrid Kotthaus also asks: “Do you want a donation for this?” But Vesper waves it off.

“Assuming social responsibility by promoting reading and language skills is part of our corporate culture,” says Group HR Director Thomas Ogilvie. He is also a board member of the Reading Foundation. Since 2007, Swiss Post employees have been helping out on a voluntary basis with the foundation’s reading mentor program, primarily with language acquisition for children and young people, but also specifically in refugee facilities. “Reading and language skills are the key to education, integration and social participation,” emphasizes Ogilvie.

But not all Hückeswageners accept the gift from the post office. A resident in Grossenscheidt waves his hand: “We have enough books in the house,” he explains. In return, another customer of the postman will certainly be happy about the offer. After all, you can never have enough books.