28 July 2020

The Knjigoljupke book club won’t be stopped – not even by a pandemic

2:00 Min

Knjigoljupke (Book Lovers) was founded in 2013 by two UniCredit colleagues who have known each other since primary school. Over time, other friends joined the book club, most of whom are still members of the group today.

Ana Bušić, Barbara Čulina Merlić, Ivana Šoljan, Maja Martinić, Nives Čavić, and Zdenka Dadas meet once a month to discuss their chosen book. Since their first gathering seven years ago, they have never cancelled a meeting. As of today, the group has read a total of 23,000 pages, hosted 9 Croatian writers as guest speakers, supported humanitarian causes, visited exhibitions and gone to the theatre together. Not only are they Knjigoljupke, but they have become life-long friends.

The Coronavirus pandemic forced the group to change the way the meetings were held. Their usual meeting spots were no longer an option and they could no longer sip hot coffee and nibble on pastries while discussing their latest book. Instead of feeling discouraged, the members decided to take matters into their own hands. They turned to digital technology, taking their in-person hang outs online. Here, they have shared with us their “before” and “after” photos, proving that not even a pandemic can curb their enthusiasm or dampen their positive attitudes.

The Knjigoljupke club members are a reminder to us to embrace our hobbies and use our free time wisely and creatively, making sure we engage in fun pursuits, especially during these challenging times. Perhaps now is the right time to start reading a good book….

Sandra Cvetko: Research shows that we should read at least 30 minutes a day to strengthen our brain. I believe this period provides us with that opportunity. Almost all genres are represented on my reading list. An interesting book I have read recently is Please Look After Mom written by the Korean author Kyung-Sook Shin. This year’s Oscar-winning film Parasite has sparked interest in the Korean tradition and culture, which is so remarkably described in the book.

Ivana Šoljan chimed in to describe what a typical Knjigoljupke club meeting looks like:

“Half of our meeting is dedicated to analysing the book, while the rest is reserved for other “life” topics (which may one day serve as an inspiration for writing a book, who knows?!). We want each of us to express an opinion, shed light on certain details or parts of the book that impressed us. Opposing views are always welcomed because that is how we improve our critical thinking skills. When choosing a book, we want to equally represent both Croatian and foreign authors, male and female writers, contemporary and classical literature. We want to “travel” to all continents of the world or find out more about books which were made into movies.”

Why not pick up a book today and start your reading journey?

…Relax and enjoy the read!