Georgian Book Lovers Gather at Expo Georgia
31 May, 2012
Georgian Book Lovers Gather at Expo Georgia

Palitra L delighted  readers with brand new books instead of worn-out editions


On May 24, the 14th International Book Festival of Tbilisi opened at the Exhibition Center Expo Georgia under the aegis of Georgian Publishers’ and Book Sellers’ Association and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection. The festival lasted for four days and it turned into a public festivity, uniting people of all generations under one word – love for books.  

The festival was officially opened by the deputy Minister of Culture,  Mako Choghoshvili: “This year, International Tbilisi Book Festival has particularly numerous guests. The novelty is that all central libraries of each region of Georgia will receive a voucher worth of 700 Gel by means of which during the festival days the authorities in charge will have an opportunity to choose the books they like and enrich their book funds with new publications.  I want to advise everybody to come, talk to their favorite authors, look through the most interesting publications and purchase them at moderate prices,” she said.  
Zaal Samadashvili, Chairman of Tbilisi City Assembly said: “This is not only a  book fair but a festival as well and is meant to be a real celebration for all of us. We hope that one day Tbilisi International festival will become as prominent as Frankfurt fair is. I invite everybody – children and adults to come and enjoy every minute of the festival.”
Tina Mamulashvili, Chairwoman of the Georgian Publishers’ and Book Sellers’ Association told Georgian Journal: “This year, there are 70 publishing houses and book shops. Moreover, we have a lot of guests from different countries, the publishers who have paid their first visit to Tbilisi Book Fair. We also have three foreign participant countries. There are quite a lot of novelties – literature quiz, also some activities to support the enrichment of the library of IDPs in Tserovani. We also have meetings with authors. “
The festival abounded with different kinds of presentations. Similar activities were taking place all around the festival venue at Expo Georgia pavilions as well as in literature cafes of Tbilisi. Visitors were able to meet finalists of the annual literary award “Saba” 2012. It seemed that everybody enjoyed the festival. The hit of the event became the 6th pavilion where Palitra L offered the visitors one book per 5 kilos of waste paper. Citizens did not hesitate to say farewell to the post Soviet and destined to oblivion literature for the brand-new editions of new and classical Georgian authors, as well as nice series of the Great Artists and scientific compilations.
One of the most interesting among them that caught the attention of Georgian Journal, was the presentation of book written by the Swedish ambassador, a good-looking respectable lady, H.E. Ms. Diana Janse. To our surprise, she has been so brave that she has served in Afghanistan before Georgia. “It’s much more comfortable here. And the food is much better,” she joked. However, her book called “Afghan Diaries” is not a ridiculous book at all. What she experienced is hard to forget and therefore, has urged Mr. Janse to become a writer. To the question, whether she feels to be a real writer she replied. “Well, not really. But sometimes I do. It depends. I think that it is so great to be a writer.” But she is really humble a woman and a diplomat. She chose to be very casual with the ordinary people who were mesmerized by her simplicity and did not hesitate to ask questions. There was a query whether she is going to write a book after she leaves Georgia. “I will think about it, who knows?” 
Diana Janse says that in the book she describes the events of 2006 when she served in Afghanistan. “The aim was to analyze what it meant to me to live and work there. The book mainly comprises the short stories and messages that I was sending to my family and friends via e-mail, they were gathered and published together. Secondly, I wanted to depict why Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries and so far away country from Sweden is important in general and to me in particular. I wanted to show one nuance – the rather old-fashioned idea of being a diplomat – many people think that being a diplomat only means going to cocktail parties. But it is not so, this is just a tiny part of it. There I got sure that it is rather a hard profession and there are no cocktail parties at all in countries like Afghanistan. Everyone could do it, but not everyone could be a diplomat. It’s not that I want you to pity me, though I do pity myself in this book from time to time, as diplomats sacrifice many private things,” she mentioned half-smiling.
The book “Afghan Diaries”, which is for sale already, was originally published in Swedish and at the Book Festival there was the presentation of its Georgian translation. “I come from one of the richest countries of the world and being in Afghanistan was worth it to show that the lifestyle of Swedes is common for a very small part of the world and how the rest of the globe lives,” Swedish Ambassador confessed.