Zagreb’s Velvet Cafe is the First Cafe in the World with a Free Reading Zone

By 22 September 2016

Zagreb’s iconic Velvet cafe became the first cafe in the world that is a Free Reading Zone. Guests at Velvet can be logged into a virtual library consisting of 100,000 books in several languages, including Croatian, where they can read in the most modern digital format, without restrictions or interruptions.

All that is required to enter the Free Reading Zone is to install the reading app on any iOS or Android device (smartphone or tablet), and register with the "access code" given to you at the cafe. After authorization, guests can download books without restrictions.


FREZ (Free Reading Zones) is a project created by global publishers, libraries and other organizations that advocate the promotion of literacy and reading. FREZ turns public and private spaces such as parks, hospitals, trains, beaches and hotels into areas where books can be read on all devices (smartphones and tablets) for free. So far, there has been an implementation of several “free reading zones” outside of Croatia, but this is the first cafe in the world that has been turned into a free reading zone.


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“It is my great honor to inform you that Velvet cafe is the first in the world as a free reading zone! From today you can enjoy unlimited and uninterrupted access to thousands of books!" reads a post on the Velvet Facebook page.


Velvet is now an open virtual library, a place where book lovers can discover new authors in world literature and expand their horizons without limits. Velvet has now become an example throughout the world as it indicates what is possible with a book in 2016,  outside of bookstores, libraries, and classrooms.


Croatia has also now become an example for the world - cafes don’t just have to be for coffee and cakes, you can now read in an unprecedented way.


Although most books are in English, the collection contains books in several languages, and books in Croatian are added every week.


Velvet cafe is the first stop but certainly not the last.


Source: FAMA