Tbilisi Book Festival: A discomfort zone for illiterate people and a heaven for bibliophiles

Since 1997 the Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association has been organizing the Tbilisi International Book Fair, which is held annually in the month of May. The Tbilisi International Book Fair is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, and is one of the key cultural events in the book sector, incorporating around 80 exhibitors. The festival is a gathering place for publishers, writers and readers; it is a lively event combining book presentations, meeting with the authors and various cultural activities. The four-day festival is open to public, the entrance is free, and is extremely popular among the public - visited by almost 60 000 visitors every year.

XVI Tbilisi International Book Fair took place from May 29 to June 1, 2014, at Pavilion XI at ExpoGeorgia. The book fair
hosted numerous public lectures, book presentations, literature meetings and so forth, and was different from previous years as it hosted 4 special writers as guests from foreign countries - Erlend Loe and Stain Hole from Norway, the Canadian poet Patrick Woodcock, and Nino Kharatishvili - successful Georgian writer, who lives and works in Germany.

The Book Platform project had its special place at the festival - visitors were welcome to attend its stand at the exhibition center, and a professional conversation-discussion on reading habits in Georgia was held. The project raised special interest among visitors - promotional materials and the studies on "Translations into Georgian since 1991" and "Reading Habits in Georgia" were distributed very successfully, so the interested visitors received plenty of information about the project and its activities.

One of the visitor mentioned in her comment: "This is a quite nice way to show your country where you are right now, when I was reading your studies I got a lot of information about book sector in Georgia, statistics about reading habits. Thank you very much and thanks Eastern Partnership Culture Program for supporting."



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