The Marathon of the Reading People is an annual event organised by Varna Regional Library, which is connected with the International Book and Copyright Day – 23 April. It aims at gathering, on one and the same day, at different places in the city, people of different ages and occupations, and making everyone read several pages of their favourite literary work aloud. The project participants include children and students, teachers, publishers, art gallery owners, lawyers, municipal officers and councilors, the city mayor, diplomats, etc.

The Marathon of the Reading People originated in 2003, in connection with the celebrations on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the establishment of Varna Regional Library. In 2006, the initiative of Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library in Varna went national, under the motto “Reading Bulgaria”.

For 14 years now, the Marathon has been held in the territory of the entire municipality and continues to attract newer and newer enthusiasts, communities of people enchanted by the magic of the good book. The event is accompanied by children’s theatre stages, essay and illustration competitions, meetings with prominent writers and journalists, and every year children from various schools in Varna experience “A Fairy Night at the Library”.

The Marathon of the Reading People in 2017 г. (in Bulgarian) >>>

A Fairy Night at the Library is a holiday midnight adventure in which the book is the key to the solution of interesting creative problems.

Since 2003, a group of children, of their own accord and with the consent of their parents, have spent the night in the reading rooms of the library every year around April 23rd – the World Book and Copyright Day. The children meet, become introduced to one another, and receive the rules for their adventure, led by the only adult participant in it – the librarian.

The “fairy night” is one of the children’s most unforgettable experiences, which leaves in them lasting memories. Each year, dozens of children from Varna wish to be part of this magic. The idea is to provoke interest in reading and to make books become their clue toward solving of creative problems. This all becomes an interesting, mysterious, midnight adventure.

During that night, the library spaces convert into a scout camp – with inflatable mattresses, blankets, electric torches and, of course – a favourite read. Everything is exciting – the atmosphere, the games, the listening to the reader, falling asleep with a book in the hand… Each fairy night is dedicated to the work of a particular author or a specific topic.

Fairytale room

For the present-day modern library children’s reading is a priority. The revelation of the mystery of the book is a captivating and meaningful part of the many-sided children’s life. The youngsters grow in a colourful book environment from their earliest childhood and it provokes their interest and activity as future users of the libraries.

Fairytales are magic. The young readers become involved and are happy when the stories have a good ending and are sad when their favourite characters are in danger.

The Children’s and Teens’ Department enjoys the trust of the young parents, who take their ‘babies’ to the library under the project a Fairytale Room for the youngest. In this magical atmosphere, the children feel wonderful – for them, stories are read and dramatised, music and onomatopoeia books are viewed, as well as toy books. The games involving words, syllables and rhymes entertain the young visitors and create in them a sense of rhythm. The kids play, paint, and feel special, and the library feels like a close friend, a home. Amidst the wonderful books by Bulgarian and world-known fairytale masters, the atmosphere is colourful, funny and interesting.

Parents receive professional guidance on how to cultivate culture of reading in children early on, and reading becomes a meaningful ritual for the children.

Fairytale Room Meetings’ archive (in Bulgarian) >>>

Summer is a season in which children have a lot of free time. This is the time when many interesting activities are organised in the halls of the Children’s and Teens’ Department, the Arts Department and the American Corner  for display of various talents. Every summer, Holiday at the Library engages the children of Varna in a rich cultural programme, stimulates the children’s imagination through assignment of unconventional tasks, and focuses their attention to books and authors.

In creativity and entertainments, the time passes in a protected out-of-school environment – the favourite library. Joint reading, sharing impressions and reflections, and teamwork are all appropriate forms of inclusion of valuable activities and development of readers’ interests and new skills in the free time.

The holiday meetings start at the beginning of July with a creative and adventurous “action”. Each meeting is multicoloured and the element of surprise in it is a must. Its aim is to gather summer, reading and curiosity in one place!

As a tradition, every year Holiday at the Library finishes with a Carnival of Fairytale Characters and exhibition of the children’s artistic works.

The Kamishibai Theatre is a form of visual narration with hand- illustrated images and an exciting story. It is most suitable for children up to 12 years old. They are immersed in literature and expressive reading; their memory, thinking, and imagination are developed.

This type of “paper drama” originated in ancient Japan. The storyteller uses a special wooden box with 12 to 20 boards illustrating consecutive moments of history. The pictures change at a fixed rhythm, while the gripping narration goes.

Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library organised for the first time a Kamishibai play after fairytales which were drawn and narrated by children within the international project AQUA NARRABILIS “Acquisition of Narrative Skills in Libraries and Schools” under Erasmus+, 2014. Using content-rich and emotionally charged images, this theatrical form stimulates children’s reading, creates a strive for creativity and develops the children’s narration skills.

Kamishibai Theatre Archive (in Bulgarian) >>>

The establishment of interest-based reading clubs aims at stimulating the participants’ activity and creativity. Various programmes and activities encourage them to use the enormous capacity of the library to find information, for expression of their artistic talents and make full use of their free time. To stimulate and popularise their creative performances and skills.

“Friends of the Library” is one of the most active clubs. It was established in 2011 by a group of pensioners from the Municipal Pensioners’ Union 2004, Varna.

The members of the club choose the topics on which they work by themselves –  literature, music, folklore, chamber exhibitions, creative presentations, excursions, charity. They participate in library initiatives and activities and initiate events for the popularisation of reading and creativity by themselves. An expression of their active citizenship is the participation of club members in various public events and the establishment of contacts with other clubs, museums, social homes and associations. The gatherings are held on a monthly basis.


The initiative often originates from the very authors and publishers, or from the readers.

Here, the main role is that of the qualification of the organising librarians, who aim at maintaining good professional competence and meeting high criteria in the communication with the audience.

In such a meeting, the modern author has the opportunity to present their opinion on the discussed topic directly, highlight the artistic expressiveness of their book, emphasise the aesthetic content of their works, and study the specific aspects of the readers’ perception.

Among the presented authors, there are prominent public figures, artists, writers, scientists, and journalists. The event often presents the works of several authors or of an entire artistic school. Each topic is illustrated using various means. Normally, an accompanying exhibition is displayed, consisting of carefully selected works which will appeal to the audience.

The attending audience use it as a forum where they can express their opinion and demonstrate their reading activity. There, open discussions are held. This helps the formation of book awareness, heightens the sensations, and develops a taste in literature. It is very often that the attending audience have already read the presented works and formed an opinion of the books and the author. Subsequently, these opinions are taken into consideration so as to improve the service of readers.

The skills of the host are what make the discussion an informal, exciting event in the readers’ lives. People go home after the meetings with the satisfaction that they were in the right place at the right time.

Authors & Books Presentations’ Archive (in Bulgarian) >>>