Judging by the lines outside Moscow’s non-fiction book festival at The Central
House of Artists, one would think the organizers were giving away free
Inside, thousands of people milled about, perusing the numerous
booths set up by publishers and sellers. Scattered throughout the floor, a
number of lectures took place during the course of the day with writers
discussing their books to an attentive audience.
Standing out from the
white-colored booths around it, the Booknik and Knizhniki booth, bathed in
bright green, was surrounded by a small crowd interested in the myriad books
presented. Green balloons floated everywhere – a brilliant move by Knizhniki to
publicize its booth and activities.
In a quiet, carpeted room in a
different section of the fair, Booknik held a series of lectures featuring a
number of authors and an introduction by Booknik’s editor-in-chief, Sergei
And in yet another section, Eshkol conducted lectures on a
number of topics including, “How to get your children to read.” In addition,
Eshkol put on a performance and set up a candlemaking workshop for children, all
of whom wore paper candles on their heads as a pre-celebration of
The best part about the book festival was that Knizhniki was
awarded the top prize for the fourth year in a row – an achievement
unprecedented for literature on Jewish and Israeli themes – in adult and
children’s literature. - .I.K.