Belgrade Book Fair

From 20th – 26th of October, a 53rd International Belgrade Book Fair was held. Actually, it is still on, the closing time is in 8 p.m. today so if you have time and want to buy a good book you have err…. about 3 hours more left 😀 I was there yesterday, I wanted to buy a few books, mostly as presents for my friends.
Saturday is always the bussiest day in Book Fair but I couldn`t do it another day. So this is what I saw when I finally got there.


I was thinking of taking photos by myself but it was impossible – the crowd was unbeliveable and I was pushed all the time. Not to mention that I needed to fight for a place near the book benches, people were so eager to buy some books like it was all for free :faint: So, all the photos I put here, were taken from official Belgrade Book Fair web site. I hope they will not be angry at me because I took them for my post 😀
From 2005. every year there is a "Country guest of honor" and this year it was Japan. This is what their bench looked like.


On the right and left side of this zen garden were books in shelves, unfortunately it was impossible to buy any of them there but you have to go to publisher`s bench and look after them. This year two books of Natsuki Ikazewa were presented. Also, there was a lecture about today`s most famous japanese modern writer, Haruki Murakami. Next year a Greece will be "Country guest of honor".

Back to crowd. I was looking after some new SF books that were published last year or so but I couldn`t find them. One of the book sellers told me that they weren`t able to put more than 300 books because they didn`t have enough place for them all :faint: So, to one of my friends I have bought an old book, a "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (original name: Аркадий и Борис Стругацкие «Пикник на обочине»). A book was written in 1974. and in 1979. Andrei Tarkovsky made a movie based on it, one of his most famous creations – "Stalker". I was happy to find it though, this book is rare.
For my other friend I bought another old book 😆 , "Hagakure" by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. I know he will be very satisfied with it.
For myself, I`ve bought "Special mission" by Oto Skorzeny. At first I didn`t want to buy it because I was looking for some SF but knowing some of the fame of that man (and impossibility to find what I was after), I`ve made up my mind. Also, beside SF, history books are my favourite choice :up:
Some trivia for the end of this post:
– 135000 entry tickets was sold this year
– 4000 people were invited to opening ceremony
– 1114 journalists covered the event
– there were 31500 people visiting in saturday (:D)
– 4823 people were employed
– 820 publishers from Serbia and abroad

The only thing I still don`t know is how many books were sold this year. Average price was about 700 dinars (about 9 eur) and it is not cheap for Serbia, but as far as I could see, the number must be impressive.

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43 Responses to Belgrade Book Fair

  1. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, in Phoenix, Arizona, we have The Visiting Nurses Book Sale once a year on a weekend. It is hugely popular although I've never attended. For several months before, at many storefronts, there are large donation boxes for books you want to get rid of. I would like to go sometime but I normally don't like huge crowds and being pushed around. My mother used to go all the time and I have many of the books she bought. If I went, I'd probably check out the art books. I like going to used book stores that are more quiet, like a library, and have chairs you can sit down to read. These second hand bookstores are all over Arizona. Books are way cheaper used than new. You can bring in books you want to get rid of and get a voucher for a certain amount of money to use in the store OR you can just buy the used books. The price is usually half or one quarter the original price.

  2. ellinidata says:

    I am glad to see Serbians read!! :heart:I love receiving a book as a Xmas present!my friends and kids believe I have way toomany and they give me other things :(Darko,a great selection of books you got!!9 Euros is not cheap for Serbia…I am sure your friends will appreciate it very much! :yes:

  3. Zaphira says:

    I stopped going to book fairs for two reasons. The crowd is one of them. I hate when people push to get ahead! The other reason is that I rarely found something there, that I couldn't just have gotten to a bookstore to get. And at the same price. Not that I buy a lot of books now. I ran out of room on the shelves. :awww:

  4. gdare says:

    Pam – we don`t have used books stores, unfortunately, otherwise I would be regular there; I forgot to mention that this price is for new books or ones published in a last year or so; the older are cheaper, less than half of the price I mentioned :up:Angeliki – according to some inquiries only 45% of Serbian citizens has bought a book in a last year; if this is true, I am very sory, because it shows the state of a nation; I am sure a lot more are spending time in front of TV :irked:Zaphira – my bookshelves are overloaded too; I have them in two rows and one over another in some parts; but there is always a place for one more 😀

  5. Zaphira says:

    If you had seen my shelves you would have known that they are more than overloaded. 😀 I try to get rid of them though, but I like my books. :awww:

  6. ellinidata says:

    😦 sorry to hear it Darko,I hope the statistics change…the same exists in America :(44 million plus (statistics went higher) men/women are illiterate…it is sad 😦http://www.shashitharoor.com/articles/newsweek/illiterate.php

  7. ricewood says:

    How I would have loved to be there. I probably wouldn't be able to read many of the books there, but I know I'd love the bookfair atmosphere. Sometimes I open a book and inhale the scents from the ink, the glue and the paper. I love books.

  8. gdare says:

    Allan – I know what you mean; last time when I was in Japan, I entered one bookshop; all the books were in Japanese but it was so nice to walk there and see what is popular in Japan; it was not much different than what we have here :)Oh, btw, there were two Danish writers as guests in Book Fair: Niels Hav and Kristina Heselhold (trilogy: "Køkkenet, gravkammeret & landskabet", "Det skjulte" and "Udsigten"); I am not sure if their names are spelled correctly though; also I don`t know how popular they are in Denmark; have you heard of any of them?

  9. SittingFox says:

    It must have been nice to see Japan as the country of honour when you are headed over there so soon! :)And wow, that's some crowd :eyes: But perhaps the Serbians who didn't buy a book last year were reading websites and blogs instead?

  10. gdare says:

    Zaphira – I like my books too; I would never vaste them :DAngeliki – is it really like that? I thought this is a problem only in poor countries but I guess poverty has the same marks everywhere :awww:

  11. ricewood says:

    Interesting that they're even present!They are known by many here – but it wouldn't be correct to call them "top of the pop". That might sometimes even imply a certain level of quality.

  12. SittingFox says:

    Have fun! 😀

  13. gdare says:

    I got bronze medal in 2006. in kata, in category of 1st and 2nd DAN (grade). But more important to me was practicing with them, under guidance of really skillful masters :yes:

  14. Dacotah says:

    :yikes: :faint: Too many people.

  15. gdare says:

    Allan – there were guest writers from France, Denmark, Italy, Russia and Canada; and their books were translated and published here; I guess publishers invited them and organized press conferences and book signing :up: it was good to have them here :)Adele – I am practicing Japanese fencing and I will take part in training seminar and small competition there; but I must admit I got hooked on Japan during my last visit :DI hope they read websites and blogs at least; but somehow, I doubt it :awww:

  16. SittingFox says:

    Sounds excellent! I hope you have a great time :up: and are in with a good chance of winning, yes?

  17. gdare says:

    Adele – I hope I will :DCarol – yes, too many 🙂

  18. Words says:

    Wow, that's an incredibly popular event :faint:

  19. rose-marie says:

    Wow, that's a lot of people!We have no less than three book fairs here this autumn :faint:. At the book fairs here, you can't get old books – the publishers are just pushing their best-sellers or new ones. And books are crazily expensive in Norway. Even though we don't have VAT on books, a paperback costs just under NOK 100 (EUR 11,45)!That's why I always stock up on books when I'm in Sweden :D.

  20. wickedlizard says:

    Nice to see that people are practically crashing the doors to read! :yes:

  21. gdare says:

    Words – yes a big crowd, even though it was organized in about 20000 square meters :eyes:Rose – three book fairs? :eyes: at least there is no VAT on books but the price is unbeliveable :faint:Isabel – it will be interesting to see how many books are stolen, I hope they will come up with that information 😀

  22. thaodp says:

    Maybe you had a hard time there – "I was pushed all the time" – but it's glad to hear that you found one of your favourite book. Sometimes there're some small book fairs here but I have never been there. I usually go to second hand books to find the old books and the discount bookstores to new books – they are much cheaper than in book fairs or in big book shops.

  23. gdare says:

    Mit, it is usual to get discount on tha fair like this one, it was stated in few places, from 20%-60%, but then I asked myself what is the regular price. Then my coleague discovered that it would be cheaper to buy it in book store :faint:But these two old books I got with affordable prices :happy:

  24. thaodp says:

    About your books – That sounds great, Darko 🙂

  25. CedarFox says:

    Wow :eyes: I enjoy books, but I don't think I'd be able to find anything through that crowd. :ko:

  26. gdare says:

    That`s what I thought too. But somehow I managed to. :left: 😀

  27. OkayPJs says:

    Wow, that's an impressive book fair! :eyes: It's good to see so many people wanting to read, but I wouldn't be able to tackle those crowds :faint: . Bet you did quite well, though, being really tall and all :p

  28. gdare says:

    Thanks, well… I had a lot of opportunity to practice, during mass demonstrations against ruling party during 90s, during public transportation drivers strikes (about 30% busses were available), while waiting in various different queues, etc… :ko:

  29. edwardpiercy says:

    Sounds like a real cultural event. I've never been to anything like that, or at least no that big.

  30. gdare says:

    But too much people. One third less and it would be very pleasant 🙂

  31. studio41 says:

    These are great pictures, Darko! You really have an interesting life with all that you do… hope this finds you well 🙂

  32. gdare says:

    Thank you Jill.Interesting life? Hmm, I just feel sometimes nothing is happening to me and that my life is like a leaf floating on the surface of the water in a pond, all days looking alike. Or is it just me…. 🙂

  33. studio41 says:

    Your entries show great adventures. If even simple ones some days. That is the stuff life is made of, the "one day at a times." And they are great. But some of your travels/great adventures make regular lives look and seem so simple… hmmm.

  34. gdare says:

    Yeah, sometimes I think this is exaggeration from my side to think my life is too simple and boring. Because I like to travel, to see different places, to feel free if you know what I mean. This is like standing on the top of the mountain to me, enjoying fresh breeze :happy: So, I try to make times between two travels as short as possible.

  35. gdare says:

    Yes, that makes a picture more complete :happy:

  36. studio41 says:

    I hear you. I love to travel, also. Although, it's been quite some time. Vicariously, we can live a bit through others' adventures and lives. At least see other parts of the world. It's cool to see someone's life on the other side of the globe, not just in pictures, but in words and attitudes, too.

  37. studio41 says:

    🙂

  38. rolling_thunder says:

    I've skipped writing about the fair on my english blog this year. Glad to see someone did it this thoroughly 🙂

  39. gdare says:

    :lol::lol:

  40. rolling_thunder says:

    Oh… More and less. My serbian blog eats up all of my free time. 😦 Think I'm gonna kill tha bitch.

  41. gdare says:

    Thanks Bojan. I was wondering where are you, long time no see you around. Hope you are ok :up:

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