The Christmas Charity Book Ball has become a good tradition, Belarus' Information Minister Lilia Ananich said at the opening of the book auction on 21 December, BelTA has learned.
According to the minister, the project is an integral part of the nationwide charity campaign Our Children, which is held every year in the run-up to the New Year. The Christmas book ball traditionally features the best samples of the national publishing industry. It is all the more important to see Belarusian publishers taking an active part in the campaign Our Children, the minister said.
In 2016, which was declared the Year of Culture in Belarus, the publishers completed several big projects, Lilia Ananich noted. These include the six-volume encyclopedia "Culture of Belarus", several book projects telling about sports achievements, excellent publication "Belarus. The Country and the People" about the progress achieved in various sectors of the economy in the previous five-year period.
Lilia Ananich added that many socially significant projects are implemented in Belarus thanks to the support from the state. Every year more than 10,000 titles of books are published in the country, which makes over 2.3 books per citizen. "In the Year of the Book, the President of Belarus said that if we lose the publishing traditions, then we will lose the country. The Belarusian book publishing industry is guided by this principle. We have not lost the traditions, and we start to celebrate the landmark date of next year, namely the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing. Belarus has made a worthy contribution to the east Slavic book printing, and we strongly rely on the best book publishing traditions," the minister said.
This year's book ball features publishers from foreign countries. "These are two books presented in the category "Books of the CIS countries" – The Nomads, a trilogy by Ilyas Yesenberlin (the association of publishers, printers and distributors of Kazakhstan) and The Journey of Heir the Tsarevich in three volumes (the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications of Russia).
The auction featured 17 lots in six categories, including the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing, The Year of Culture, Anniversary Dates.
Proceeds from the book sales will be directed to the Shklov State Special Boarding School for Visually Impaired Children.
Organizers of the Christmas Charity Book Ball were the information Ministry of Belarus and the Union of Press Publishers and Distributors.