Can Literature Festivals Change a Nation’s Reading Habits?

In Discussion by Chip Rossetti

tanpinar literature festival

By Chip Rossetti

In today’s lead story, Istanbul-based literary agent Nermin Mollaoğlu talks about her own background in Turkish publishing that led her to open her own literary agency, as well as her high hopes for the annual Tanpinar Literature Festival — the first of its kind in Turkey. One of the stated goals of the festival is to encourage reading in translation among the book-buying public, partly through giving away a compilation of short translations by festival participants to bookstore customers.

Changing reading habits is a tall order for an annual urban book festival — even a festival that takes place in a major cultural center like Istanbul and that draws international authors. Do book festivals have the potential to change readers’ tastes over the long term?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

About the Author

Chip Rossetti

Chip Rossetti is the managing editor of the Library of Arabic Literature translation series at NYU Press. He is a translator of contemporary Arabic fiction.