A Free Library for Every Family (in Sharjah)

In Guest Contributors by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti SHARJAH, UAE: While many countries would like to encourage a “culture of reading” in their citizens, perhaps no government has taken a more direct role in promoting reading than the United Arab Emirate of Sharjah, through its official initiative known as “Knowledge Without Borders.” Conceived under the auspices of the ruler of Sharjah, H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan …

Spain’s E-book Business Stuck in Beta

In Feature Articles by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams MADRID: Last week, the inaugural Feria del Libro Digital—Spain’s first e-book fair—took a few toddling steps into the future.  Described by its organizers as “Version 0.0,” the fair’s two days of panels, exhibits and workshops elicited decidedly mixed reviews. While many were pleased that it provided a showcase for the digital companies that had been shut out …

Even in Peace, Lebanon’s Literary World Remains at War

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Yasmina Jraissati BEIRUT: This year, with Beirut serving as the World Book Capital for 2009, the city’s literary world remains linguistically and cultural divided: the city will be hosting two distinct book fairs, the Lebanese Francophone Book Fair (Salon francophone du livre de Beyrouth) which took place in October and November, and the International Beirut Book Fair (Maarad al …

Bonus Material: Should Beirut Merge Its Two Book Fairs?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka The question implicit in Yasmina Jraissati’s lead article today is whether or not it would be better for Lebanon’s two book fairs—one catering to French readers, one to Arabic readers—to merge. Jraissati argues that keeping the fairs separate only serves to exacerbate deep suspicions between the two cultures. It seems to me that a book fair is …

Los Angeles Adds Glam to Guadalajara

In Feature Articles by Chad W. Post

By Chad W. Post Since launching the Guest of Honor program at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) in 1993, Guests of Honor at have included Colombia, Chile, Puerto Rico, Peru, Catalonia, Brazil, Italy, Quebec, and even New Mexico, but 2009 marks the first time that a city has been awarded this honor. This year’s fair, which runs from November …

Bonus Material: Dates Set for Spain’s First E-book Fair

In Discussion by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams After e-books were explicitly excluded from the Madrid Book Fair this past June, two of Spain’s technological innovators responded by joining forces to organize the country’s first e-book fair. Bubok, an e-book and POD publisher and retailer, and e-Cultura, a consulting company and think tank that combines culture with cutting-edge technology, have announced the creation of the …

Reading Brazil

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka RIO DE JANIERO: Last week’s news that Rio de Janiero will host the 2016 Summer Olympics raised cheers across South America, a continent that is sometimes misunderstood and often underestimated. The setting for an Olympic games could not be more stunning: the city abuts both the ocean and the forest, with roads cut through mountains that majestically …

Global Trade Talk: Russia Over-Publishes, 1M Cool-er Sales, Brazil Book Fair Begins

In Global Trade Talk, News by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson Publishing Trends reports that the Russian publishers are struggling, not only because of the economy, but also from the effects of over-publishing. Coping with bookstore returns and warehousing the unsold inventory, distributors are having trouble paying publishers, which financially impacts agents and authors as well. The growth of foreign investments in Russia’s publishing sector could mean a …

Bonus Material: Spain’s First Ebook Fair Set for November

In Discussion by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams MADRID: After ebooks were explicitly excluded from the Madrid Book Fair this past June, two of Spain’s technological innovators have joined forces to organize the country’s first ebook fair. Bubok, an ebook and POD publisher and retailer, and e-Cultura, a consulting company and think tank that combines culture with cutting-edge technology, have announced the creation of the …