Photo credit: Inter-European Division

Inter-European

New Life Publishing House Participates in 50th International Book Fair in Sofia

Participation fosters connections, promotes Adventist literature at key cultural event

Bulgaria | Ivalina Ilieva, EUDnews

“We create stories. We create history” was the motto of the 50th International Book Fair in Sofia, Bulgaria. More than 170 publishing houses participated, offering more than 100,000 different titles for both adults and children.

The first international book fair in the country was held in 1968, aiming to expand the contacts between readers and publishers. Thus, Sofia became the fifth European city to host a book forum at an international level (after Leipzig, Warsaw, Frankfurt, and Belgrade). Research has shown that almost half of the current fair attendees (47 percent) buy books at least once a month; 30 percent, once a quarter, 13 percent, once every six months; and 4 percent, once a year.

Seventh-day Adventist-affiliated New life Publishing House has participated in the fair since 2015. There are many interesting meetings during the fair, both with readers and other publishers.

“I am pleasantly surprised by the colleagues from other publishing houses—those with whom we are in contact. For example, we have wonderful relations with our neighbors in the booth. We exchange books, we talk about covers, about translators, about authors, about printing houses,” says Viriginia Chirpanlieva, general manager of New life. “Some of them express interest in our publications. One of the publishing houses’ managers already has an extensive collection of our books.”

There were many volunteers at the New Life booth, helping to share truth-filled literature and making friends with the attendees. All volunteers were happy to participate at the event, and they just kept coming day after day.

Partaking in the International Book Fair is a great way to get out of our circle, out of our familiar readers, to learn new things, from arranging shop windows to communicating with printing houses,” says Chirpanlieva. “It's a wonderful way to share our Adventist faith and to make new friends. The challenges are many, as most of the people are not receptive to Christian literature. Some customers are genuinely shocked by the availability of so many Christian books and Bibles. Others enjoy visiting New Life’s booth and happily buy from our products.”

Chirpanlieva adds, “Many Adventists just came to visit the booth; most of them bought a lot of books to support the publishing house, took pictures together in front of the booth, talked, wanted to [relieve] the staff at the booth, [and] brough water and food.

“The most pleasant experience? When God sends people with questions about our books. This means great conversations and [the] purchase of a lot of our products!”

Chirpanlieva concludes, “The balance at the end of the fair [was] 435 books and 100 titles sold. And we are sure God has more blessings for us in store! Books sold, people reached, eternal destinies changed!”

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division website.

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