Preporod attribute recent growth in sales to its presence at the annual fair, which is the largest cultural event in the region.
November 09, 2016
Nikola Grujić, Trans-European Division / Adventist Review
Copies of the book, “Mihajlo Pupin – The Biggest Christian among Scientists,” that was recognized at the 61st Belgrade International Book Fair. [Courtesy of Saša Todoran/ Trans-European Division]
It’s gratifying enough for any publisher to receive an award, but when the publisher represents a faith community that’s a minority in its nation, that’s a particular honor.
Such was the happy lot of the Serbian Adventist Publishing House, Preporod, which received a special award at the recent 61stBelgrade International Book Fair. The volume, ‘Mihajlo Pupin—Biggest Christian Among Scientists, was recognized for its contributions to science.
Dragan Pejovski, director of Preporod, said, “in a very strong competition, among hundreds of publishers, our release was recognized since [the story of] Mihajlo Pupin clearly underlines that without spirituality and faith in God, there is no true science.”
The Belgrade International Book Fair is a significant cultural event that draws approximately 150,000 visitors. For the Adventist Church this presents an excellent opportunity to share biblical values. Preporod traditionally participates and over the year has seen significant growth in sales as well as an openness among visitors to spiritual issues.
Marija is one of them: “Last year was the first time that I came in contact with your books. I had no idea what good quality books they are. This year I’m going to buy your books first, and then if there is time and money, I will go for others.”
Adventist Church members view the fair as a special outreach project. It becomes a meeting place with people who long for Bible truths and books that help them connect with God. Veljko, another visitor to the stand, said, “The literature on your booth is quite different to most others. I find many books here that interest me.”
That kind of interest during the fair is especially important as it has become more difficult in recent years to get Adventist literature into general bookstores. [See: Adventists, spurned by Serbia’s bookstores, set up shop near Orthodox church.]
Winning the award has increased the visibility of Adventist literature. Pejovski noted that a number of media outlets followed the award ceremony. “This award has helped people recognize the uniqueness of our literature and turn to the quality books that we offer,” he said.
These books are changing lives. Zoran told staff, “Whenever I’m at an intersection in my life and have problems, I come back to your books to find peace and a solution.”
Among the best-selling books are two by Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, and The Great Controversy. Readers are also very interested in medical and psychological literature that promotes healthy lifestyles and thinking.
Publishing house staff all agreed that the eight days of the fair provided them with great opportunities to talk with people, to exchange ideas, to reconnect with people who have previously purchased Adventist books, and to testify about God’s love. Thankful for the recognition they have now received as publishers, they pray that this will give them new opportunities for the future and an ability to enrich people’s lives with quality books.