A colleague of mine in the Neo-Latin world, was recently publicly expressing his skepticism of the Tar Heel reader project. Why, he said, don't you publish through a regular publisher? I tried to explain the utility of digital books, their application to the modern classroom, interactive white boards, and, most importantly, the ease of their distribution.
Can printed Latin children's books be found in bookshops up in the Outback? or small Pacific Islands, or in China?
The map below shows where the Tar Heel Books I have put online in the past 2 months, have been read. This kind of distribution for printed books would be difficult. Many readers will not have the financial resources to purchase so many specialized books, which would necessarily be expensive productions, having limited print runs.
If needed, a parent can always print up a Tar Heel Book at home, and bind it in some way. Some parents have told me they are already doing this, others are using the texts online. Many people using the books are not children at all, but adult learners, looking for simple reading material in the early stages of their Latin education.
I cannot get a map for all the Latin books, so this map is not representative of the readership of all 270+ titles currently available, but I think it gives a good idea.