Best reader competition

Georgi Borissov – editor-in-chief of the “Fakel” (Torch in English) literary magazine, who is also one of the organizers of the competition.
Photo: Veneta Nikolova
Every Bulgarian, who loves literature and spends at least part of his or her free time with a book in hand, has the opportunity to participate in an unusual competition where his or her keenness of observation, general culture and ability to think will be estimated. The task of the participant will be to read a book in order to discover the intentional mistakes in it. The organizers of this national competition, which is being held for the first time in Bulgaria, expect great interest among the better-educated people.

The idea of the competition is to sharpen the awareness of the Bulgarian readers and to turn him from a passive consumer into something like a detective, who fill find the intentionally set traps. The book that the readers will read in the forthcoming months is by famous Bulgarian writer Krassimir Damyanov – “The house of the hanged man”. In the “puzzle” of events he offers in the novel there are three mistakes. The winner of the competition will become known in May 2010. The prize is a week in Barcelona as guest of the Cultural association “Arthostal” – one of the organizers of the competition. There will be other prizes as well for those who do well in the competition. More about the unusual intellectual challenge from Georgi Borissov:

“The three mistakes are not misspelled words but mistakes in the facts related in the story. The reader has to have good knowledge in the field of literature and to cherish good books in order to meet the challenge. Another of our aims is to stimulate the readers to read a Bulgarian book as a change. That is why we chose a Bulgarian author. We have the ambition to hold such a competition twice a year”.

The first “Best reader competition” is an attempt to make Bulgarians read more as it is a fact that in today’s hurried world people tend to leave reading aside. Television with its reality shows and soap operas takes up a lot of their spare time, while the computer has turned into a 24-hour necessity. According to statistical date instead of taking a book the Bulgarians prefer to overcome the stress they have accumulated with shopping therapy, sitting in front of the TV, overeating or frequently visiting restaurants and clubs. “The reason”, considers Georgi Borissov, “is that people are afraid to be left with themselves in case they discover the vacuum left there by the contemporary consumptive society”. By reading we would be able to overcome the reigning harsh materialism. For more information on the competition one can visit The book by Krassimir Damyanov, which the people will have to read for their analysis, will be in the book shops all over the country in a couple of months.

English version: Ivaila Bozhanova

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