The fair invites visitors to Minsk’s Stolitsa mall to buy their favourite books. Educational, historical, medical, popular science and socio-political literature, as well as well-known bestsellers and editions for children are offered these days to book lovers.
Dmitry Makarov, the Chairman of the Council of Organisers of Book Exhibitions and Fairs held across the CIS, says that most of the exhibitors of Minsk’s International Book Fair – which is usually held in February – have initiated an additional event since it’s necessary for the publishing cycle. New books released in spring become obsolete by winter and, with this in view, the Book Autumn in Capital was born. “It’s truly symbolic: Minsk is the capital of Belarus and the CIS, and a shopping mall entitled Stolitsa [the capital] has been chosen as the fair venue. It gathers leaders of domestic and Russian book publishing, and also online stores – a total of 80 companies. The Belarusian Union of Writers also presents its programme and books,” Mr. Makarov adds.
In turn, the First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Writers, Yelena Stelmakh, notes that the organisation is taking an active part in the exhibition, “Our colleagues from Minsk and regional offices will meet with readers. Tatiana Dashkevich, for example, will present a poetic and musical composition, while Tatiana Kalenik will introduce her collection of essays and short stories. As is traditional, writers will sign books for their readers; among them are Mikhail Pozdnyakov, Yevgeny Khvalei, Inna Frolova, Sergei Trakhimenok, Irina Tulupova, Vladimir Mazgo, Olga Shpakevich and Yekaterina Stroilova – a holder of the National Literary Award in the Debut category.”
“We see new publications are being released throughout the year, and authors want to present them. In September, I visited the Moscow International Book Fair and was pleased to observe that our Belarusian stand enjoyed a great popularity. Our organisers brought many books for children there which are very popular in the Russian capital. It is wonderful since 40 percent of all books produced by our publishing houses, in particular Mastatskaya Litaratura Publishing House, are aimed at young readers,” she adds.
Interest in printed products is growing. The Director of the Russian EKSMO AST book hypermarket, Vitaly Shkelko, confirms, “The range is updated literally every week. We see that interest in paper books is growing among buyers, and publications for teenagers are in great demand. We are bringing many new editions to Minsk, including educational literature, and offer impressive discounts to our buyers – up to 90 percent in some cases.”
The Belarus Publishing House’s price list includes more than 200 books. Leading specialist Anzhela Sadovskaya comments, “History might be interpreted in different ways, while we have presented reliable archival documents: our two-volume edition is dedicated to the Peace Treaty of Riga. We’ve also prepared 20+ books jointly with the National Art Museum.”