Two Arabic book fairs were held at the beginning of December — one in Doha and one in Beirut — and they both reported slow sales. Al-Sharq al-Awsat said that “reports regarding the demise of the Arab-language book are perhaps looking somewhat exaggerated,” although noting that sales have been down for the past three years.
The “guest of honor” spot at book fairs is often controversial — in 2009, China’s honorary status at the Frankfurt Book Fair raised hackles and eyebrows, as did Saudi Arabia at Book World Prague in 2011. What does it mean to have a country “honored” at a fair?
Last week, contributor Kate Kasimor walked the grounds of the Sharjah International Book Fair, which runs through November 16. She shared a few photos and a few of her thoughts from the talks.
This past week, both the Dubai-based Emirates LitFest (March 4-8 2014) and the Sharjah Book Fair (November 6-16 2013) released their programs; both of which are filled with big literary names.
Images courtesy of a mystery photographer and the Twitter feed of @ShjIntlBookFair:
International publishers are meeting in Sharjah again this year, the thirty-first year of its international book fair, although only the fourth in its new guise as one of the world’s important trade fairs. The Sharjah fair — in some ways… Read More ›
Today, the Sharjah International Book Fair’s pre-fair professional program wrapped up with a few speeches, an interesting (brief) presentation from Jon Malinowski about PubMatch.Com, and a pair of “matchmaking” sessions. The idea behind these matchmaking sessions was to pair publishers, agents,… Read More ›
Last week, Ahmed Al Amri, the director of the Sharjah International Book Fair, announced the opening of a $300,000 translation fund to celebrate the fair’s 30th anniversary.
Zeinab al-Mansi and I asked around—hey, what do you think of the government-organized book fairs?—and got a number of different answers.
Meanwhile, the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) seems to have caught the crazy virus, and is planning to hold a make-up, semi-international book fair during Ramadan. That is, in August. And not on the fairgrounds, but on Faisal Street.