Catalan Book Week aims higher

"We are working to have a good trade show like Paris and Rome," says exhibition president

A woman reads a book in the Catalan Book Week Fair in Barcelona (by ACN)
A woman reads a book in the Catalan Book Week Fair in Barcelona (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 12, 2017 11:25 AM

Literature lovers are in heaven these days in Barcelona. The city offers more than four kilometers of shelves full of books in a very special venue: Cathedral Avenue. The 35th edition of Catalan Book Week is the biggest ever, and organizers aim to compete with big European capitals such as Paris and Rome. More than 163 stands offer the latest books published, with more than 200 new releases and the presence of 95% of the country's publishers. It's all available to be explored until September 17.

"We have worked to offer the biggest Catalan Book Week in history," said the president of the event, Joan Sala. "We are following the path of other cities in order to have a good book fair like Paris and Rome," he added. Fair visitors can find new titles originally written in Catalan as well as translated from other languages.

Considered one of the most important cultural events in Catalonia, this book fair continues to inspire people to read in Catalan, and draws support from other Catalan speaking regions such as Andorra, where Catalan is the official language, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands.

This interesting occasion to promote reading, especially among young people and children, is a nice preview of Catalonia's biggest book celebration: Sant Jordi on April 23. It's on that day that every corner of every city in the country is flooded with book stalls and roses.

Besides books, literature lovers also have the opportunity to take part in some of the 200 parallel activities of Catalan Book Week, including 40 directly addressed to children. International authors such as Paul Auster have already made appearances, which will also include events with English author Mary Beard, Syrian Gulnar Hajo or Italian visual artist Nanni Balestrini.

Catalan novelist Jaume Cabré, author of 'Jo Confesso' (I Confess, in its English translation) will be recognized with the Trajectory Award for the "excellence of his literary work, his monumental works and his defense of the Catalan culture". The ceremony for this prize will be celebrated on September 14.

Last year, Catalan Book Week reported sales of up to €354,000, a 16.6% increase in comparison to the previous year. Book and journals sales were up 8.9%.