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Rome Reports

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Vatican's publishing house resists impact of new technologies

Around the world, the book, and the physical act of reading a book, has dwindled, replaced instead by screens of all sizes. In the U.S., and many other countries, this shift has contributed to many bookstores closing. But one resisting this trend, is the Vatican Publishing House. FR. GIUSEPPE COSTA Director, Vatican Publishing House "It's not that, by some miracle, we sell a lot. At times, we have trouble selling. There are books that sell or don't sell. So we need to pay attention to production and demand.� Each year, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana publishes over hundreds of new titles each year, focused mainly on the Catholic Church. It also has three bookstores throughout Rome. Director Giuseppe Costa said he doesn't foresee major changes to their operations, mainly because demand simply isn't there. FR. GIUSEPPE COSTA Director, Vatican Publishing House "We follow new technology closely, but you also have to follow the ties between costs and the market. E-books make up only two, maximum three percent of the market in Italy. What does this mean? It's an empty investment. There are no buyers and no market.� It doesn't hurt having the man in white as your most important author. The LEV publishes all of the Pope's official texts and speeches. But that doesn't mean the publishing house is shunning technology altogether. FR. GIUSEPPE COSTA Director, Vatican Publishing House "In a few days, we'll launch an individual website for the LEV, where visitors can find new releases, pre-order books, or purchase one. It's definitely a step forward.� The LEV's current page is a subsection of the main Vatican website. The new one will be just as easy to use, but with more advanced features to give users a friendlier, more efficient experience. RCA MG VM PR Up: YJA