book fairs


It might be that I haven’t read much lately but I sure have been to a few bookish events.

First, of course, the annual Sarajevo Book Fair. I was saddened to see it even more ridiculous than previous years. Putting that story aside, four books that I have bought:


Effi Briest. Theodor Fontane

The Birds. Tarjei Vesaas

Misunderstanding in Moscow. Simone de Beauvoir

Burial Gifts. Tor Ulven


Then there was a book-swap organized by local book enthusiasts. I have been wishing for something like this for a long time since I have a dozen books that no longer (or, in some cases, never) interested me, that I wanted to replace. I went with only four of those and came back home carrying some intriguing titles:


Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand

The God of Small Things. Arundhati Roy

The Sea of Silence. Nenad Ešpek

The Dean’s December. Saul Bellow



Next came birthday presents, just as I like them:

13187619_1746626502263691_2021454802_n13219725_1746626552263686_766840872_nThe Chronicles of Barsetshire
. Anthony Trollope

Library at Night. Alberto Manguel





And, last but not at all the least, a book promotion. It was a pleasure to again see my university professors, to hear them talk about literature. Especially the beloved and enchantingly eloquent Dževad Karahasan. Such a joy it was to see all the people in the room listening attentively. It is too bad that no one started a discussion or asked a question… Anyway, the book:


The masques of a dramatic entity. Almir Bašović







Sixteen new roommates in total. Delightful!


10 thoughts on “Newcommers

    1. Every year there is less publishers and more re-sellers (bookshops) which means that most of the stalls hold the same books. There’s less variety.
      One of the major publishers decided not to take part in the Fair this year because of the price of the stall (there were other reasons too) – the price is the same for all participants whether they are universities, publishers, embassies, plain re-sellers. Instead they had events in their bookshop, with discounts and gifts for friends, members of their book-club and customers.

      Also, this year, one third! of the space was taken by Turkish embassy (conference area, some books, some candy and I don’t know what) which meant even less books..
      I remember when it used to take me three or four hours to go through everything. This year we stayed a bit more over an hour.

      There were talks. That part was OK. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend some that interested me because I had to work.

  1. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Mangel, he’s been on my list for some time but not come across any of his books yet. That is a wonderfully varied hoard you have amassed, shame about the book fair though.

    1. I have already read Library at Night couple of years ago. I talked about it to everybody who would listen. haha
      I have it on my Kindle, but now I’ve got the real, physical book which is very nice.
      Manguel is delightful – besides Library at Night I have read A History of Reading, A Reading Diary, Into the Looking Glass Wood and A Reader on Reading.. I have also read his novel Stevenson Under the Palm Trees and listened to the series of his lectures The Traveler, the Tower, and the Worm which is also published as a book. Couple of months ago I started reading his latest book – Curiosity, but I wasn’t in the mood so I left it for better days.. So, I am pretty much a fan, one would say..

      I wonder what is it going to look like next year, the Fair I mean. I fear it will be even worst, but I hope for better. Some changes are more than needed.

      1. I covet his book even more now, I learnt of him through you, I believe which will make the reading all the more sweater.

        The fair sounds bad, reading your other reply, it is sad that it has been in decline, I hope it gets better, readers deserve a proper day out to buy books and listen to talks and be even more inspired.

  2. Congrats on getting yourself some new roomies there! :) Hope they would proof themselves to be worthy ‘bedfellows’ as well, in time to come. ;) I have been meaning to get at The Library at Night for a long time now, but somehow it is still sitting quietly in a corner, waiting for its time…. The one you read from your Kindle, was that the English version?
    I like the sound of ‘The Sea of Silence’, wondering what’s it about…. And from what I’ve read about ‘Atlas Shrugged’, I get the impression that it’s a tough one to crack. Probably one that I should avoid. :p
    Anyway, let me know how you get on with it, ok? :)

    1. Yes, I have read ‘Library at Night’ in English. Now I wonder what does it sound like in Serbian.. I left it on my bedside table, to be ready for some plunging in..

      ‘The Sea of Silence’ is a collection of stories. Each has a specific atmosphere to it – foggy, grave, tense.. I haven’t heard of the author before so I picked it up thinking the introduction very interesting. Good writing.
      I am not sure if this is the first book I have ever read that’s settled in Sarajevo, but it is the first time I reacted to this fact. It was positively strange to see the names of the streets you’ve been walking through all your life on the pages of a book of fiction.

      And, ‘Atlas Shrugged’ was picked up based on the introduction as well. It sounded like something that resembles my view of life. We will see if it really does and to what a degree some time later though. I don’t see myself reading it any time soon..

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