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Foundations and publishers promote the value of books

BOOKS preserve our values and pass down timeless wisdom through the generations. This is one of the reasons why the Komunitná Nadácia Bratislava (the Community Foundation Bratislava) has launched the Give a Book charity project.

BOOKS preserve our values and pass down timeless wisdom through the generations. This is one of the reasons why the Komunitná Nadácia Bratislava (the Community Foundation Bratislava) has launched the Give a Book charity project.

“A book is always a good present to give someone because it’s of lasting value,” Daniela Danihelová from the foundation told The Slovak Spectator.

The foundation collects book requests from children from lower socio-economic and marginalized groups and works with its partner bookshops, Artfórum and Panta Rhei, to label the books with the first name and age of the child who wants it.

Any customer can then buy the book, with the knowledge that it will go specifically to that child.

“The foundation supports this form of direct donating and philanthropy because it enables donors to see exactly where their money is going and what it is being used for,” Danihelová said.

In the four years the project has been running, more than 1,550 books have been donated. Last year’s total was 333 books. Danihelová expects the number will be even higher this year.

Slovak books in English

With the Slovak book market as small as it is, some local publishers have begun publishing Slovak titles in English.

In January, the Ikar publishing house is putting out 1000 Zaujímavostí Slovenska (1000 Attractions of Slovakia) by Ján Lacika.

“We’re also planning an English version,” said Mária Lešková from Ikar.

As well as importing English-language literature, the Slovart publishing house has started publishing English versions of Slovak books, especially art books.

“One of our most recent publications in English was Klenot Gotiky (A Gothic Jewel), a book by prominent Slovak photographer Karol Kállay with texts by Marián Gavenda,” Soňa Wells from Slovart said. “Next year, we plan to publish a Slovak cookbook, Tradičná Slovenská Kuchárka, which will have Slovak, English and German editions.”

Customers have reacted positively to Slovart’s English versions of children’s books such as Alice in Wonderland, with illustrations by Slovak graphic artist Dušan Kállay.

“We are now thinking that we will include an English version of Peter Pan into our publishing plan,” Wells said.

English books about Slovakia are also popular. Slovart currently sells three of them.

The Slovak books currently available in English include, among many others, Pictoria by Pavel and Jakub Dvořák, subtitled The Early History of Slovakia in Images; Reports and Messages, a book of photos by Dušan Hanák; and photo books by Karol Kállay.

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