#ReadingIsTheCure: Croatian Book Night 2020
This year’s Croatian Book Night, Croatia’s national annual programme promoting books and reading, will take place despite a global standstill that all spheres of human activity have come to owing to measures adopted worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally held on 23 April, which is internationally marked as World Book and Copyright Day, its 2020 programme, forced to move to the online environment, will include more than 500 programmes prepared by libraries, primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, publishing companies, theatres and other book-centred institutions, as well as many creative individuals such as book illustrators, translators, writers, and other authors. Presenting this year’s Croatian Book Night slogan, #ReadingIsTheCure, is Booksy, a noble dwarf determined to rescue us from isolation brought about by the global quarantine which the majority of the world is currently in. Created by graphic designer Boris Kuk, Booksy will make his appearance at this year’s programme’s opening, starting at 19.20 on the Third Channel of the Croatian Radio Television, Croatian Book Night 2020 Facebook page and its YouTube channel.
Shortly after almost prophetically announcing change and transformation to be the theme of its programme, the 2020 Croatian Book Night found itself, together with the entire world as we know it, in the grip of the most radical sudden global social change in human history and the worst world crisis since the Second World War. Arriving from the world of fiction, Booksy is here to prevent us from losing our spirit and remind us that maintaining that spirit is crucial for successfully going through this unprecedented ordeal. And what better way to endure social distancing and stay-at-home policy, along with isolation that they bring, than to flex our minds by reading?
Despite the currently seeming incongruence between books and reading, as concepts frequently associated with leisure time and relaxation on the one hand, and the conditions of severe crisis on the other, Booksy insists that now is the time to read. Thus, the 2020 Croatian Book Night programme will present a number of prominent Croatian writers such as Miro Gavran, Julijana Adamović, Sanja Polak, Olja Savičević, Renato Baretić, Jurica Pavičić, Kristian Novak, Damir Karakaš, Tanja Mravak, Ivica Ivanišević, Borivoj Radaković and others. Apart from special online events of libraries all around Croatia, the programme will also include original online content prepared by the progressive Poco Loco theatre, Zagreb Youth Theater, several cultural organisations and associations, and present the winners of Plant a story!, a literary competition that the Croatian Book Night Organising Committee organised in cooperation with the Croatian Association of School Librarians for primary and secondary school students to encourage and reward their literary creativity and artistic expression in promoting values such as responsibility, kindness, respect, gentleness, compassion, fairness, perseverance, love and the willingness to change, all so essential for overcoming the current global crisis.
Hear out Booksy – disregarding books and knowledge has always been dangerous, and especially so in times of crisis. Now is the time to read!
The organisers of Croatian Book Night 2020 are the Publishers and Booksellers Association of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, National and University Library in Zagreb, Zagreb City Libraries, Publishers’ Reprographic Rights Association – ZANA (Udruga za zaštitu prava nakladnika), Knjižni blok – Inicijativa za knjigu pro-book association, Moderna vremena, a books-and-culture-oriented web portal, and the Croatian Association of School Librarians. Its realisation is supported by the Publishers’ Reprographic Rights Association – ZANA, Croatian Ministry of Culture and City of Zagreb.