Book fairs offer much more than just a space to sell books; they provide opportunities for socializing and bringing together great creative potential. During challenging times, books must be cherished and protected as symbols of hope and dialogue, emphasized Culture Minister Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojchevska during the official opening of the 36th Skopje Book Fair at Skopje’s Boris Trajkovski Arena.

The minister highlighted that fairs have evolved into educational and cultural events in recent years, fostering connections between writers, publishers, and readers. Kostadinovska-Stojchevska also noted the increase in attendance at the Skopje Book Fair, reflecting a positive attitude towards books.

“An article speculates that by 2050, books may no longer be necessary for humanity. While I find this hard to believe, it might seem natural to future generations. Nonetheless, those of us in this transitional era must continue to nurture and protect books as symbols of hope, dialogue, and creative guidance for the modern world,” she stated.

Skopje Fair Executive Director Daniela Gligorovska spoke at the opening, saying the fair would offer entertainment, social interaction, cherished moments with beloved books and authors, and new adventures.

“As the arena’s gates open, we embark on another chapter in the 36-year-long history of the Skopje Book Fair, which continues to inspire and deepen our love for books and language,” Gligorovska remarked.

Writer Frosina Parmakovska described the Skopje Book Fair as a celebration for lovers of the written word.

“We often hear that our native language is our homeland. Books in our native language are the wealth of that homeland. For writers, this broad concept means our homeland is most vividly expressed in our books, both within ourselves and in the world. It represents the experiences we accumulate and store in small vessels, revealing the most beautiful tastes and scents. This homeland is found in the quiet hours of the night when we connect with our leaders through the pages, or in a room where a therapist skillfully unearths hidden depths,” Parmakovska said.