The best and worst of the written word

Here’s an interesting item from Shelf Awareness, the blog aimed at independent bookstore owners:

Belgrade is book crazy. According to Balkan Travellers, “whether from a nostalgia for its existence as an imperial centre or as an escape from reality, the literary obsession of the Serbian capital grows with every passing season. . . . While in Rome nightlife is based around the fountains, in Amsterdam around the beer locales and in Southern France around the bistros, in Serbia’s capital the night begins and ends among books.”

Not all booklovers’ options are positive ones, however: “Beside simply bad literature, there are also examples that chill to the bones--one of the centrally-located bookstores until today specialises in the sale of books oriented against various ethnic and religious groups on the Balkans.”

It’s the price those of us who live in free societies pay for the right to read what we like – others have the same right. It’s nice though to know that in Belgrade, “the night begins and ends among books.”

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