The People of the Book

The People of the Book

  •   Jerusalem International Book Fair February 2013
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    Israel has probably the highest number of books written per capita a year. There is definitely a reason why we are called the 'people of the book.'
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    Jerusalem International Book Fair February 2013 Jerusalem International Book Fair February 2013 Copyright: MFA video
    MFA video
     
    First held in 1963, the Jerusalem International Book Fair is a unique biennial event drawing many heads of publishing houses, agents, sales personnel, foreign rights representatives, editors and authors - and, of course, lots and lots of buyers perusing 100,000 books in different languages from more than 30 countries.

    At the 26th Jerusalem International Book Fair in February 2013, Ilan Greenfield of Gefen Publishing House remarked, "We meet here many, many people from different places of the world. Israel has probably the highest number of books written per capita a year. There is definitely a reason why we are called the 'people of the book.'"

    "It's very international," adds one book fair visitor. "There are lots of publishing houses; it's also very Israeli because there are a lot of special things that are only Israeli or Jewish."

    "It's a great opportunity to meet others, to meet editors, to meet translators, to meet publishers," adds Rohring Geza, a writer from Budapest.

    "This kind of book fairs and the exchange of thoughts is very good for peaceful bonding between nations and as well as people," states Bashir Shaikk, a publisher from India.

    While we will have to wait until 2015 for the next international book fair in Jerusalem, Hebrew Book Week is celebrated annually in Israel. The first of a number of book fairs was held in 1926 along Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv the city that proclaimed itself to be the citadel of Zionist-Hebrew culture. Yearly fairs offering books at 25% off list price were instituted in 1961.

    From June 5-15, 2013, outdoor book fairs will be held throughout Israel, at which bookswill be sold at a discount, alongside a variety of literary events.
     


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