CROATIAN LOVE FOR READING WILL INFECT THE WHOLE WORLD
“Reading can seriously damage your ignorance”
One dream and thousand opportunities to be realized or to be forever buried. It depends on us because the creative power is only within us. So many people are searching for the happiness outside their mind, searching for material compensation and failing to understanding the real importance of soul food. The beauty of life is be enough brave to follow your own path, without need to be compared with others but rather to inspire them.
It is never too late to be who you are meant to be. If you let your spirit leads you, you can enjoy the amazing life journey, without regrets, toxic people and wrong solutions. The life is what you decide to create and not what you think it is already created for you. All you need is an exotic cocktail of intelligence, curiosity, fortitude and compassion. As it was written somewhere, when the storm is coming, all birds seek shelter but an eagle avoid that storm, by flying above it.
I have met some people who have changed their star constellations and have shown to the whole world what it means being enough courage to listen your own heart and not let others to write your own story. They can never imprint your emotions, fears and expectations as vivid as you can. At the end of the day, you have a right to write a bestseller.
When I detected her blog, I was so happy like a child that has found own secret treasure. It was a blog about books, about quality of reading and strength of spiritual development. Those were the forgotten values in the modern world, occupied with instant information on social media, selfies without soul, dreams without base and communication without any sense. The urban harmony has been measured with number of published posts about nothing and number of fake likes. Alis Maric has brought up back the sleepy kingdom of books. She wake up the good spirits of past, opening the season of reading the real books, with tea in cozy rooms or with iced wine in some of the breathing corners of our Earth.
The beautiful 55-year-old Croatian has graduated at Faculty of Law but her road has been far away from grey corporative work. Her real mission was hidden among books and she felt that on time, daring to provoke the destiny and to offer her creativity to the civilization as the gift. She has always been surrounded by books, moved by writings and rooted by words. Alis Maric is that woman from Croatia who is making the completely new, silent revolution, reminding us on her website CITAJKNJIGU.COM about the meaning of books, their place in our lives and their importance to cultivate our identity and to profile our personality. In the age of digital pulses, she portrayed the book as our lost family member, the one we have to recall back from memories and embrace for eternity.
- How the blog has been born?
It was accidentally. I was fired and that was one of the best things that has happened in my professional life. I was fired after 22 years of work in great corporation. The boss couldnt have made the better favor for me at that time. He ended up in prison and I was without job. I thought that it was the end of the world for me but that was the new beginning of my perfect life. People shouldnt bne affraid of changes because they are the best for us. Some people realize that on time and some later. I had that luck to catch up that on time . I havent had immediately the idea about blog. Actually, all has started with the Facebook page CITAJ KNJIGU (Read a book) and then comes Instagram page and my own website. This idea in social media is about 5 years old and gathers up to 500.000 people book lovers from Balkan region and that number is on the rise with every new day. The people write me and they are so thankful for this page. I just like to say that I have infected Croatia and the whole region with love for books and reading.
- You studied Law but the books and beautiful writing have always inspired you. How you manage to make a peace between disciplined skills of Law and creative vibes of free writing?
Since I know for myself, I am crazy about books and about all related to them. The books are my vocation. I studied Law because of my parents. The first part of my life I have lived based on the expectations of other people but now I live according my own expectations. That is a big engagement and the results could be made only through the great efforts and devoted work. I have never doubted in that what I am doing and I have never had a problem with inspiration. I do work whzat I love and that is the important motivation. I have always new ideas and thoughts so sometimes I have to calm down myself to not lose all of my ideas. I really work that what I love the most. That is the recipe for sucess. I have not been tired for all of these years and I also have never asked myself about the purpose of my mission. Those question have been so typical for all my previous jobs. From my point of view, the work itself is not that what makes us tired but the feeling that you dont do things for what you have been born. I work with all my heart and with lot of love what people naturally can feel. That is a special cosmic energy that makes us all being one. In other words, I know how to feed hungry book lovers. I am so proud that I have been nominated for Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in Croatia. It was founded in 1972, in honor of Madame Clicquot, a kind of Oscar for sucessful women all around globe, that is given annualy.
- You found the right balance between social media and books. You use Internet as a channel for promoting love for books. How people have reacted on it at the beginning?
They have been impressed from the first days of my Facebook page. The readers have written to me that the concept is fantastic, original and unique. Just to mention, it was one of a kind since there was no the similar one in Croatia or the whole region of Balkan. I must say that social media are ideal for that what I do because I spread love for books and reading, I favor books. Some could think that I only recommend books. I do but I also maitain the brand CITAJ KNJIGU (Read a book) and all its autenticity. It is almost 3 years that I reconnect books with coffee, cozy furniture, publishers and fashion. Without all those things, reading is less attractive and desired. The statistics shows that social media infleuncers and prominent individuals, like I am too, have some kind of credibility in the eyes of public and can have impact on some of the consumation choices. It is a fac t that my brand influences sale network. Beside the fact that I am a blogger, I am also a kind of business woman and lot of my skills from my first jobs are very helpful nowadays in many of my projects.
- What we all can learn from books, from your point of view. What you have personally learnt from books that have changed your life dimension?
The biggest lesson I have learnt from life and from books is that the insecurity is the most secure thing. No risk, no profit. When we make risks, we face up with many closed doors. Those closed doors are the biggest challenge for me and driver to be stubborn and to try to make impossible. I have failures all the time but I have realized, thanks to the books, that the failure is very important element in the whole development process. You cant win if you dont leave your comfort zone. So many people like to live in that comfort zone. I like to quote Mark Twain:” Twenty Years From Now You Will Be More Disappointed By The Things You Didnt Do Than By The Ones You Did Do.” You cant win in the game you dont play.
- Do you write yourself books or have plans about it?
No, I dont write a book or books. I have no need for it till now but I can recognize a bit of it within myself as a desire to share my life experience and observations. Never say never. I only know that I will need lonely island and lot of tranqility for writing a book.
- If you can recommend only five books, which are they?
One Hundred Years of Solitude – G.G.Marquez; Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert; Chess – Stephen Zweig; Nothing holds back the night – Delphine de Vigan; Losing my Virginity – Richard Branson.
- You are a mother of three kids. Do they share your passion for books?
My biggest success and pride are my children and my family. The family and health are my top priorities. There is no point to make all your dreams come true and be alone. There is nothing more important as being a good parent. Everything else could be replaced and your job could be done by someone else but being a parent to my kids could do only me and my husband. My children are grown up and happy people and I am always here for them when they need me. I got my first grandson 6 months ago and I am so excited about it. My all kids love books and they are also inspired by them. You should always thrive to learn kids through the good examples and not through the commands or bans.
- Beside books, what do you also enjoy in?
I enjoy travelling. I try to relate books with travels. Only when I read I dont pack my suitcase and dont buy my train tickets. I worked for 10 years for Air France. I used to travel a lot and I feel good in airplane or train, when I visit some foreign land or city. I usually go 3-4 times a year on a longer journey and once a month inside Croatia. It is very important to me to learn all about my own country. Beside that, i love wines and I am the active member of Women on Wine Club in last 7 years. I have learnt a lot about wines and how to enjoy in them and make them connected with books. There have been 9 interesting workshops that I have organized with my friend Jelena Simic Valentic, who runs the popular wine bar Pupitres.
- Did you think to start the same blog in English?
I did. I would probably do it on English or German, that is my second native language. The problem is lack of time and I am sure that my blog, if it is in the USA, would be followed by 5 million people, at least.
- What is your own message to the readers worldwide?
Love that what you have and never give up on your wishes. Make sure to enjoy in your journey, climbing on the mountain and focus on your top. Take the responsibility for your own job and your own life.
Alis Maric has also started her own publishing house “Biblioteka Citaj knjigu” with all exciting bestsellers. These are just some of them: The Girl with Seven Names, Mornings in Jenin, Gala Dali and many others. She likes to think of those books like about her own book kids, hoping that will always be more of them, available for public and empowering the passion for reading. Her idea about Hunting the magic book is very ppopular in Croatia. The great books are hidden in some of Croatian cities and the readers follow instructions to find them and get them. Homo ludens, people who play like innocent children. This woman has activated the book popularisation among prisoners and stimulated them to embrace the books and to find a peace within their souls. Her inspiring stories and pictures make a harmony among people, turning them all into one family of book lovers, the new force on the Earth.
16 thoughts on “ALIS MARIC: THE GODDESS OF BOOKS”
Sarah’s informative and delightful article induced me to bring to mind the historical development of the Croatian language: the southern Slavonic dialects manifested a continuum, because the tumultuous history of the region (i.e. over the Mediaeval periods) resulted in a patchwork of dialects. Serbs, Croats and Bosnians inhabited the region with their various dialects.
The etymology of the appellation ‘Croatia’ derives from an Old Persian place name ‘Xaraxwat’, which was taken up by a Dark Ages Slavonic tribal elder who became a king. The first Latinised version of the appellation dates to 852 CE.
The inceptive years of inscribed Serbo-Croatian date to 10th-century Mediaeval Christian texts: it began to compete with Ecclesiastical-Latin and Arabic. One of the earliest Serbo-Croatian texts is ‘The Humac Tablet’ (c. 10th century CE); Humac being a village in Bosnia. The text expresses the funding/creation of a Christian church dedicated to the Archangel Michael, by nobles.
From this, the origins of Croatian Literature emerged. Some Croatian fiction prose writers embellish their narratives with aspects of the hybrid history of the Croatian language and literature. We can observe this universal approach in the attitude and writings of individuals like Alis Maric.
What a lovely and heartwarming article, Sarah !
Your article is so beautiful and reminds me of my childhood and adolescence, as I would open new books, be they for school or for fun, and smell the fresh scent of paper !
I was always intrigued by what was in them ! The titles of the books let my mind wonder and wander ! So dreamy !
Keep books alive and always choose them over social media ! We all have yet so much to learn !
Thank you so much, Sarah, for this beautiful article ! God bless you !
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