‘Books on the Box’ starts Friday

Most Greek television programs about books have failed to attract a general audience. «Books on the Box,» a new program starting this Friday at 10 p.m. on ET-1, promises to avoid the tired old approach that had viewers diving for the remote control. Three experienced print journalists and critics – Katerina Schina, Vangelis Hadzivassileiou and Manolis Biblis – are the mainstay of «Books on the Box.» Schina and Hadzivassileiou will host the first half of the one-hour, weekly broadcast. Biblis has the second part of the program, «Writer’s Workshop,» where individual writers will present themselves, talking about their work, methods and ideas. How will they make this program different from its predecessors? «We’ve been in this business for 20 years,» Hadzivassileiou told Kathimerini English Edition, «and we want to have those discussions about books that we have together at work, but in public. It will be spontaneous and not at all sedate or pompous, as book programs have been in the past. The host used to treat the author with reverential awe. We won’t do that. It will be a friendly atmosphere where we present writers and their work as they really are.» The presenters will invite authors or other figures in the book world to join in the conversation. Big issues related to books – such as the upcoming Thessaloniki Book Fair – will get coverage and commentary. Every week there will be spots presenting three or four new titles. The program has a broad reach. «We don’t assume that books necessarily mean literature,» said Hadzivassileiou. “We’re going to include books on all kinds of subjects from architecture to cookery.» Schina has worked on television for «Bibliorama,» but the other two are TV novices. Asked what it was like to work in a new medium, Hadzivassileiou said: «It’s completely different. I do my best but it’s a learning experience.» Good luck to the new venture. Television viewers certainly deserve a lively book program worth watching.