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Slovenian book night to honour liberty

Ljubljana, 23 April - Marking World Book Day on 23 April, Slovenians and the Slovenian ethnic minority will celebrate Book Night, hosted by the Sanje publisher and the Slovenian Book Agency. More than 200 events are scheduled to take place across the country and in neighbouring countries to honour creativity and liberty.

The Sanje book shop celebrating Book Night by staying open during the night.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

Book Night is of the most popular book events in Slovenia, raising awareness about the importance of reading and bringing together fellow book enthusiasts. The project starts before World Book Day culminating on 23 April.

More than half of the events will take place in the Štajerska region in the north-east, followed by Ljubljana, central Slovenia and and the Primorska region, west, with more than 100,000 participants expected to attend.

This year's event will honour the 200th anniversary of the death of Slovenian Enlightenment poet Valentin Vodnik, as well as the French Revolution ideas of liberty, which significantly influenced the period of Enlightenment.

The question of liberty is thus the event's main theme since it also remains relevant today. It will be discussed at numerous book events and talks with authors, including writer and film critic Samo Rugelj, author and film director Miha Mazzini and young adult author Janja Vidmar.

Prisons and other correctional facilities will be again involved in the project, participating through a number of workshops, debates and lectures.

Schools across the country will organise late night readings for pupils, with the recommended book being Nika Kovač's Pogumne Punce (Brave Girls), presenting determined female characters throughout history.

The organiser of the late night readings, teacher Marjana Cenc Weiss, got the idea for the project when she was working at a secondary school in Germany.

"The idea of a night spent reading books at school completely overwhelmed me. The first Slovenian Reading Night already exceeded my expectations. There was excitement in the air, one could feel the creativity and how participants were connected in this extraordinary way," said Cenc Weiss.

Book lovers in Ljubljana will be able to start their Book Night already during the day at the annual book fair in Zvezda Park. Sanje's book shop The House of Dreaming Books will stay open throughout the night, selling books at discount prices.

Meanwhile, the city of Murska Sobota in the north-east will host an evening tea party with Slovenian author and mountaineer Tadej Golob, while Maribor will hold a book fair during the day.

Late night book event trends started in Germany, the US, the UK and Ireland, and came to Slovenia in 2014. The project is non-profit and aims to bring together local book enthusiasts as well as encourage organisers to self-initiate the events.

© STA, 2019