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During the Libraries at Night event, the first held in Minsk, famous Belarusian businessmen, athletes and artistes read aloud extracts from their favourite books

Good fashion for reading

During the Libraries at Night event, the first held in Minsk, famous Belarusian businessmen, athletes and artistes read aloud extracts from their favourite books.

Two libraries in Minsk, the scientific library at the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU) and the city’s oldest library named after A.S. Pushkin, threw open their doors for visitors at night. Initially it was planned that a mobile cinema festival would  be organised, showing short films about the cinema. This was a true festival of live public readings.

Each visitor, among whom there were many students, as well as guests with children, could find an occupation to fit their taste. For example, an open lesson in calligraphy or a master class in writing creative texts were available at the BNTU while the Pushkin Library offered lessons in Swedish and Portuguese languages, acquaintance with best festival works over the past years and a master class by Maxim Zhbankov.

Meanwhile, literature readings became the major event of the Libraries at Night. The audience was attentively and with pleasure listening to the country’s famous media persons reading out loud extracts from their favourite books: by Belarusian authors and foreign literature works translated into Belarusian. Singer German Titov admitted that there’s no other more melodic language in the world than the Belarusian language. Wishing to proof this, he read verses from school curriculum under the guitar accompaniment. Alexander Kul, a former basketball player and current Marketing Director of Tsmoki-Minsk club, has read a fragment from Yan Borshchevsky’s Nobleman Zavalnya. The Head of TUT.BY Internet portal, Yuri Zisser, appeared on the stage with Svetlana Alexievich’s Second-Hand Time and read out loud about friendship. Meanwhile, TV host Anna Bond read Maxim Bogdanovich’s verses while her colleague, Tamara Lisitskaya, read Vladimir Korotkevich’s prose pieces.

Moreover, even those who are currently abroad, have also joined the initiative. For example, the Belarusian Ambassador to France, Pavel Latushko, has sent a video message from Paris, reading Vladimir Korotkevich’s Fatherland. Sportswoman Alina Talay from Vienna said by heart Maxim Tank’s Native Language while writer Vladimir Kozlov, being in Moscow, read out loud a fragment from his new work, Return.

The event also saw the exchange of books between guests. Bookcrossing points are already operating at both libraries, where everyone wishing can leave the read book and find a new work for pleasant reading.

The Libraries at Night event, which appeared similar to famous trend Night of Museums, was initiated by the Velcom Smartfilm Studio. According to Velcom representative Yulia Dayneko, book trailers (video advertisements for books) have become the topic for the first mobile cinema festival.

“In order to make a book trailer, one needs at least to select a book and read it,” notes Ms. Dayneko. “Therefore, we believe that those who haven’t determined yet with the topic of their video have found inspiration, and will soon shoot their mobile cinema videos after listening to the extracts from literature works. The Libraries at Night is a master class which aims to unite the Belarusian language, literature and cinema. We hope that in the course of time this event will have become a good tradition.”

By Yekaterina Alexandrova

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