Unreadable Books campaign jumbles up bestsellers to push literacy

'The Da Vinci Code' becomes 'The Ad Viicn Oced' in the Literacy Partners campaign to get people reading in New York

Lengthy, divisive bestseller The Da Vinci Code may already be hard to read for some – but a new cover design for charity is unlikely to make it much easier.

Dan Brown’s multi-million-selling novel has become “The Ad Viicn Oced” as a part of charity Literacy Partners’ Unreadable Books campaign to raise awareness and support for New Yorkers who are unable to read.

In total, 12 authors have signed up to mix up their books, including Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett and Tayari Jones while Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give becomes “Het Ahet U Evig” and Ingrid Roja Contreras’ Fruit of The Drunken Treeis now “Frtui fo het Drenkun Eter”.


Last year, 27,000 people worldwide earned an income selling street papers, making a total of £23.4 million.

The full set will be on display at two New York bookshops – McNally Jackson in Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Mysterious Books – over the weekend complete with information about Literacy Partners and how to support their mission.

This is the second year that the campaign has been held to show bookworms what life is like when you are unable to read – a reality for one in five people in New York according to the campaign.

“It’s incredibly difficult for people who know how to read to imagine what it’s like to not be able to make sense of even basic written information, much less things like rental agreements, legal documents and medical instructions,” said Anthony Tassi, CEO at Literacy Partners. “With Unreadable Books we’re hoping to connect with people who love reading to inspire them to support their fellow New Yorkers who are trying to learn. We are honoured to have the support of 12 phenomenal authors for this year’s activation.”

The Big Issue knows just how important literacy is to help lift people out of poverty. That’s why we champion books with weekly reviews and even are offering the chance to become Britain’s next great crime writer.

And that’s why we highlight the plight of libraries, give away books and launched our #WhyBooksMatter campaign to show their life-changing qualities.

Image: Literacy Partners