Israel Celebrates The Annual Book Festival
And I won’t be there this year.
The people of Israel are known by many names. One of those names is People of The Book. I found that it is quite uncommon across other countries to call us by that nickname. I found one reference to it in a book when searching on google.
But between the people of Israel, that nickname is quite common. In Hebrew, it’s “Am HaSefer” indicating the Torah that Moses received on Mount Sinai.
We embraced the moniker into our culture, and today Israel celebrates an annual week dedicated to books called The Book Week. During the festival, many bookstores offer sales exclusive to that week. People are encouraged to find their next weekend read, and a lot of cities throughout the country allocate public space for stands to sell books at an even lower price than the stores themselves.
Truly, a celebration.
Two years ago, I promised myself that the following Book Week would be the one I introduce people to my book. That didn’t come to fruition. Last year, I spent my Book Week aiding my friends, exposing people to their new books. This year, I decided I wouldn’t attend at all.
Not because I don’t like Book Week — I love it! It’s one of the only celebrations in Israel which book worms like me are not frowned upon but instead welcomed with open arms.
I won’t come because I decided I will dedicate Book Week for myself, this year. I will spend the week working on my book instead of helping my author friends. If I don’t put in the work — it will never be done. I can keep talking about writing a book, but I need to finish it. I need to get this book out in the open where people can get my message.
The embarrassing fact is that I already have most of it written. I’m just lazy going over what I previously wrote and adding some short stories to the mix. The book is a collection of short stories I wrote about the challenges of the third decade of our lives. For Israeli people, the ages twenty to thirty are filled with challenges. We get released from the army, and we get married, we fly away for a great trip before coming back to Israel and starting our degree. Not all of them in that order, if at all.
Some don’t have enough money, and some discover the unique flavor of their sexuality, and some rush to get things done like get married and learning for their degree without going on a trip. Everyone is different, and that diversity is why my book resonates with so many people.
Hopefully — and this isn’t a promise — the next Book Week of 2020 will be one I will celebrate all published books, including my own.