Visitor numbers buoyant as Frankfurt Book Fair winds down

Frankfurt -By Jenny Tobien, - The world's largest trade fair for books, the Frankfurt Book Fair, reported an increase in visitor numbers, both public and trade, as it came to an end on Sunday.

Just before the gates closed, the organizers said they hoped to reach 300,000 visitors this year: According to the latest forecasts, trade visitors were up 1.8 per cent, and on the public weekend there was an increase of 8 per cent in visitor numbers.

In 2018, about 285,000 visitors came to the fair over its five days.
Numerous book lovers flocked to the fair on Saturday and Sunday, leading to full halls, crowds in front of the reading stages and long queues at signing sessions.
The guest country this year was Norway: At the fair - but also in museums and on stages throughout the city - authors from the country presented themselves with a broad cultural offering.
"It is very busy and we are very satisfied," said book fair spokeswoman Kathrin Gruen.
The increase in visitors is also due to the fact that the book fair did not take place this year during the autumn holidays in the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, she added.
This year for the first time, books were being sold over the whole weekend. As has become the tradition, colourfully made-up and lavishly dressed people - so-called cosplayers - were to be seen all over the exhibition grounds.
In addition, visitors were offered readings, lectures and discussions.
German and Norwegian writers also competed against each other on Saturday afternoon in a football match on a pitch between the exhibition halls.
The German team was coached by footballing legend Otto Rehhagel and scored a 5-3 victory.
There were 7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries at this year's fair, a little fewer than in 2018.
The next Frankfurt Book Fair is scheduled to take place from October 14 to 18, 2020. Canada is 2020's guest of honour under the motto "Singular Plurality."


Sunday, October 20th 2019
By Jenny Tobien,

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