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Book vending machine spreads culture in Velenje

Book vending machine spreads culture in Velenje

Slovenia has presented the project Europe Readr on the occasion of the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Velenje Book Foundation (UVKF) has set up a street book vending machine on Stari trg in Velenje to mark the 20th anniversary of its operations in Slovenia’s sixth largest city, reports RTV Slovenia.

Focus on local themes and authors

The self-service Knjigolin21 will be dedicated to fostering the habit of shopping for literary works, spreading reading culture and promoting book titles. The emphasis will be on Velenje content, local authors and UVKF’s publishing production.

From time to time, selected books by partnering Velenje publishers and Slovenian and foreign publishing houses will be put up for sale, too. Each month, UVKF will select 21 books, which will be offered at a price of five to ten euros.

The Knjigolin21 bookautomat will be temporarily placed in front of the book depot of the Velenje Book Foundation until the renovation of the Velenje Old Town Centre is completed. Afterwards, it will be moved to a new street exhibition centre.

Hunting for the Nobel Prize in Literature

Slovenia has a rich literary tradition, but, like other underrepresented small nations with a unique language, is still hunting the elusive top prize in this field. The country’s nomination for this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature is Drago Jančar, a 72-year-old novelist, playwright and essayist. Credited as Slovenia’s leading contemporary writer, Jančar boasts an impressive collection of local and international awards and is the most widely translated Slovenian author abroad.

Europe Readr

Small wonder, then, that Tamara Weingerl Požar, deputy permanent representative of Slovenia to the EU (COREPER I), chose to hand out copies of Jančar’s book To noč sem jo videl (I Saw Her That Night) in English, French, or German translations to her colleagues as a gift. This served as a prelude to the presentation of the cultural-promotional project Europe Readr initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia on the occasion of the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in July 2021.

Realised in cooperation with EUNIC, Europe Readr aims to foster reading culture and critical thinking across societies about the future of living, support the creation of public spaces for exchange and debate on shared European values, dialogue on the European Green Deal, sustainability and urbanism through a curated programme of activities.

Poetic justice

Slovenia bills itself as the only EU member state that celebrates its cultural holiday as a public holiday, with a day off work (overlooking, perhaps unintentionally, 24 May – the Day of Bulgarian Letters and Culture). Prešeren Day, the Slovene Cultural Holiday, is celebrated on 8 February - the anniversary of the death of the Slovene national poet France Prešeren in 1849.

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