I don’t know about you, but I find book fairs as important to me as its my birthday. That said, I’ll be having two aditional birthdays this year – I’ve already attended one, and that was The Square of Books in Herceg Novi, Montenegro.
International book fair The Square of Books is held annualy for 14 years now, from 21st to 28th July in Herceg Novi in The Old Town on Belavista Sqare. If you didn’t know, Herceg Novi is also known as The City of Writers because many great names of Serbian literature such as Ivo Andrić, Aleksa Šantić, Simo Matavulj, Stevan Raičković wrote some of their works just there. The book fair is held for eight days, and while it lasts publishers from Montenegro, Serbia and region are exposing their popular titles, many reputable writers, critics and lecturers are presenting books and discussing topics from the world of literature and famous musicians and actors are often enriching the program with their performances. Beauty of the old Mediterranean houses made of stone that encircle The Sqaure with Beautiful View (Belavista translated from Italian) makes this book fair unique. One of those buildings is also The Town Library whose employers are creditable for this celebration of words and books. The Church of Saint Archangel Mihailo which has palm trees around its building, smell of summer and sea are contributing to the atmosphere perfect for enjoying and discussing about written word.
Very inspiring and incentive opening speech gave Vida Ognjenović, Serbian writer, director and diplomat, greeting all the old and new book lovers, talking about the importance of literature and libraries, but also about today’s forgotten importance of reading quoting Joseph Brodsky: “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
2016 is the year of Shakespeare and he’s celebrated worldwide as its 400 years since his death. Therefore, prof. dr Zorica Bečanović Nikolić held a lecture named “What does Shakespeare mean to us, and what do we mean to him?” picturesquely explaining how important his works are for the humanity. Afterwards, an actor Irfan Mensur coronated the program with his performance in monodrama „Actor, Make Us Laugh“, making the audience feel a spectrum of emotions.
When the program ended, I went to see what was exposed on the booths of the publishers, and I knew that if I could, I would have stayed all night long browsing through the books. In the end, I bought “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon which I wanted to read for a while, and now that the TV show became my obsession, I couldn’t help myself.
This year’s motto was a quote by Jorge Luis Borges: “Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I’d rather boast about the ones I’ve read.”. So read, read read.
Do you love book fairs and other bookish events? Have you attended any of them recently?
Till the next post,
Jana sends you hugs ♥