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World Book Day in Slovenia

April is a rather bookish month! Beyond 2 April, a date on which children’s books take centre stage, three weeks later, on 23 April, World Book Day, a Book Night is traditionally held in Slovenia.

This year, of course, the situation is rather different. Due to the emergency situation, staying up late reading books will move from public spaces into the homes of all co-creators of the Book Night and partly into green retreats and the virtual spaces of the internet and social networks.  As a result it will last more than just one night: due to the changed situation, Book Night this year will last until the end of May.

What is a Book Night?

The original mission of the Book Night was to promote reading and books in all strata of society. It is a non-commercial project that, through a joint social campaign, brings together various volunteer organisers. It takes place across Slovenia, over the state borders and around the world and always attracts many visitors who mark World Book Day in this way.

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    Book Night is a popular event. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Literary works online

Like other cultural works these days, literary ones have also moved more to the internet. Many publishing houses are currently only operating online and are offering their books at discount prices; during the quarantine period some have also approached readers by offering them free ebooks.

Many Slovenian authors have joined the From Home to Home series, in which they read out excerpts of their books on their websites or social media profiles. Several virtual literary evenings have also recently taken place. The Ljubljana Puppet Theatre is entertaining audiences by reading out children’s and youth literature online, while SNT Drama is providing readings for adults and vulnerable groups.

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Slovenians and books

Culture and literature are an important part of life for us Slovenians. Publishers point out that among contemporary Slovenian authors, poetry collections easily outnumber other publications. We might therefore conclude that we are a very poetic-minded people! In general, many Slovenians are interested in culture and engage in various amateur cultural activities.

Slovenia indeed holds global records for the number of new book titles published per capita. Most of these titles are fiction, with a high share of titles of Slovenian literature and translations of contemporary foreign literature.

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    Infographics: Irena Kogoj

Author: Polona Prešeren

Date: 23. April 2020

Time to read: 3 min