Book fairs are a great place for readers to get in touch with favorite authors. The most famous book fairs are commonly considered where the most readers are gathered in & several names come to the mind when we think of World’s famous book fairs like- World Book Night Fair, the British Book Awards, the Toronto Book Festival, the London Book Festival, the Melbourne International Book Festival, and the Edinburgh Book Festival. These are just a few of the world-famous book fairs held in various cities in the UK and countries around the world. All the book fairs are pleasant spaces for readers & writers because readers can meet their favorite authors, which brings another excitement to book fairs.
So let’s find what are the most famous book fairs around the world-
1. Kolkata International Book Fair
The Kolkata International Book Fair has started on January 25 this year and will continue till February 5. Kolkata International Book Fair is the largest book fair in Asia. Like us, this book fair is considered a festival, as a part of Kolkata’s regular life. Like us, there are countless people out there who want to go to the book fair every day, whether they buy books or not. And for this reason, Kolkata Book Fair is said to be the largest non-commercial book fair in the world as the largest gathering of book lovers. This can be said for sure as the people who came to the book fair because now about 25 lakh people gather here.
The first book fair was organized in 1986 on a very small scale by an organization called ‘Kolkata Publishers and Booksellers Guild’. The fair started considering the interest of people to buy books instead of the scarcity of bookstores. The fair usually starts on the last Wednesday of January every year.
Until 1992, two separate book fairs were organized in Kolkata by the Kolkata Publishers and Booksellers Guild and the Government of West Bengal. The two fairs have been merged since that year. Earlier, the fair was organized on one side of the famous ‘Maidan’ in Kolkata, but since 2009 it has been held at a place called ‘Milon Mela’ near Science City.
Every year the Kolkata Book Fair is organized with the status of ‘main theme’ to a country. 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s fight against imperialism in Bolivia, the year the main theme of the book fair was Bolivia. The Kolkata Book Fair was nominated as the ‘Guest of Honor’ at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2006. This year’s book fair theme is Costa Rica.
2. Cairo International Book Fair
The Cairo International Book Fair started on January 26 this year and will continue till February 10. The oldest and largest book fair in the Arab world is the Cairo International Book Fair. The fair is organized by the General Egyptian Book Organization near Al Azhar University in Egypt. The book fair is considered to be the most important event in the world of Arabic publishing.
The Cairo Book Fair began in 1989. The General Egyptian Book Organization organizes the fair, Egypt’s official publishers and sellers, to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of Cairo that year. Since then, this organization has been in charge of organizing the fair. This event has turned into a gathering of about 20 lakh people.
Cairo-based publishing houses publish an average of three out of every five books written in Arabic. So this fair has become the biggest name for books in the Arab world. Meetings, seminars, lectures, etc. are also organized in the fair, which lasts for about three weeks. The entire exhibition is displayed in Arabic, English, and a few other languages to make the fair enjoyable to people all over the world. The Cairo Book Fair is held in the last week of January every year in Cairo, Egypt.
The London Book Fair will run from March 14 to 18 this year. One of the largest book fairs in Europe takes place here. The London Book Fair is a pilgrimage site for European publishers, sellers, and agents.
The book fair was started in November 1971 in the basement of a hotel by a publisher named Lionel Leventhal. The initiative was taken to make the publishers’ books easily available to library owners. The Specialist Publishers Exhibition for Librarians (SPEX) was established in the service.
Due to the success of the first initiative, the exhibition was re-organized in November 1982. Seeing the success of the program in the service, the organization is getting bigger every year. In 1985, the fair was renamed SPEX’75: The London Book Fair. After two years, the fair was organized in the name of the London Book Fair, excluding the SPEX part.
Until 2006, the fair was held at the Olympia Exhibition Center. Although it was removed that year, it was relocated in 2015, and it has been decided to continue the event there ever since. Publishers, sellers, agents, librarians, and suppliers from at least 100 countries now participate in this book fair.
All commercial activities in the publishing industry, including the sale of book rights to television, movie, and audio record companies, are performed at the fair. There are the arrangements of conferences, award ceremonies, meetings of publishing houses, workshops, seminars, etc.
The Buenos Aires International Book Fair will be held from April 26 to May 15. It is one of the largest book fairs in the world.
The book fair is organized by a non-profit organization called Fandacio El Libro, founded by the Argentine Society of Writers. Conferences and meetings are open to all authors, publishers, editors, translators, vendors, and those involved in publishing. Special conferences were organized with researchers and librarians.
Between 1971 and 1974, more than 35 book fairs were held in Buenos Aires. In 1974, the Argentine Society of Writers decided to organize the book fair in consultation with Argentine editors. The first Buenos Aires International Book Fair was held in March 1975. Fifty writers and six more countries from outside Argentina took part in the service fair, which covers an area of 7,500 square meters. About one and a half lakh visitors visited the book fair for the first time.
Now the fair is organized by the Argentine Rural Society with an area of 45,000 square meters. With the participation of at least 50 countries, the number of visitors to the fair stood at 12 lakh. Every year in April, the fair is held, and it lasts for three weeks.
The Frankfurt Book Fair will start from October 11 to October 15 this year. The Frankfurt Book Fair is said to be the largest commercial book fair in the world. And it ranks second in Europe in terms of visitor arrivals. The fair is held in mid-October every year in Frankfurt, Germany. The first three days of the five-day fair are for commercial visitors only. The fair is open to everyone for the next two days.
People from all over the world come to the fair to bargain for international book publishing rights and licensing fees. The fair is organized by an affiliate of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. At least 7000 organizations from more than 100 countries participated in the fair. And now about three lakh people come to the fair. The book fair is considered the most important book fair in the world for international publishing agreements and trade. Publishers, Book Agents, Dealers, Librarians, Researchers, Artists, Film Producers, Translators, Printing Companies, Trade Associations, Writers, Journalists, Software and Multimedia Distributors gather here.
The history of the Frankfurt Book Fair is more than five hundred and fifty years old. When Johannes Gutenberg made unprecedented advances in printing technology in Mainz, near Frankfurt, local booksellers organized a book fair for the first time. Until the beginning of the era of the printed book, only manuscripts of books were sold at general trade fairs. After the start of this book fair, scholars and merchants interested in the book business started coming here. By the end of the 18th century, it was the most important book fair in Europe. Although the Leipzig Book Fair took its place in the European Enlightenment, the Frankfurt Book Fair regained its lost glory after World War II.
The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade has been awarded annually during the book fair since 1950. Another fun prize is given every time. The strangest name among the books on display at the fair is the one that is given this award.
6.Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL)
At the end of this year, the Guadalajara International Book Fair will be held from November 25 to December 2. This is the most famous book fair for Spanish speakers. In terms of visitors, its position is right after the Buenos Aires Book Fair. The book fair is also known as ‘FIL’ with its Spanish initials.
The book fair was organized by the University of Guadalajara in 1986. It begins in Jalisco, Mexico, on the last Saturday of November each year and lasts for nine consecutive days. About 2,000 publishing houses from 43 countries took part in the latest event in 2016, covering an area of 40,000 square meters. About 6 lakh visitors came to the good that year.
7. BookExpo America (BEA)
Book Expo America was shortly called BEA. Bookcon & BEA is North America’s largest gathering of book industry professionals from around the globe. Bookcon is the leading consumer event merging pop culture, and BEA & Bookcon are the ultimate destinations for the publishing industry and book lovers worldwide.
BookExpo America (BEA) is a free book show featuring all the hottest and most talked-about books, magazines, and other forms of literature. Be a part of the fun, and be one of the first to see the hottest and most talked-about books and new releases. BookExpo America is held at the Exposition Center in Atlanta, Georgia, from November through December. It features over 400 of the bestsellers of the year and all of the latest books, magazines, and more. Books range from biographies and memoirs to cookbooks, children’s books, self-help guides, and more.
There are also new releases every day, which is exciting. It’s an exciting time for authors and book lovers everywhere, and it’s a good time to get in on the book industry, especially with the great success that this year’s books have enjoyed.
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