This morning at 9 AM the annual Leipzig Book Fair successfully kicked off four days dedicated solely to literature, new book arrivals, and other book-related events. More than 2000 publishers from 39 countries are here in Leipzig to present not only their newest publications, but also to take a look at the journey a book undergoes before it lands in our hands.
This year’s extra-program “Leipzig Liest“, which I have renamed the “LL“, invited 1500 authors from across the nation to come together and read texts to their fans in cafés and bars. Almost every café in the saxonian city can call itself a proud host to a reading event of the “LL“. Tonight promises many cool events at even cooler locations, like a reading with jazz at the jazz-bar Spizz and several readings at the renouned Moritzbastei.
Dating back to the 16th century, the Leipzig Book Fair remains a significant event in the literary world. This year’s trade show focuses on younger readers and authors. Therefore, a large section of the fair is devoted to comics and slam-poetry, which I will approach in more depth in a later post. And of course many publishers are involved in the heated debate about e-books.
On the train to Leipzig, German author Anselm Neft read from his collection of short stories. His stories were very entertaining and my train ride was over much faster than I expected. Actually, it was supposed to be the infamous Helene Hegemann reading to us. Unfortunately she cancelled, but Mr. Neft was a worthy replacement with his book “Die Lebern der Anderen” (“The Livers of the Others”).