Colombia’s most important annual book fair closed Monday, after the most year in the international festival’s almost 30-year history.
According to a statement released Sunday by the organization behind the 27th Annual Bogota Book Fair, some 452,000 people visited the fair in the two last weeks, 19,000 more than in 2013. Retail sails also climbed, reaching $11.57 million, a 10% increase on the previous year.
Some 1,469 cultural events were held throughout the festival, which organizers are already declaring a great success.
“Without a doubt, this was the best [Bogota] Book Fair in history,” said Colombia Chamber of Books President Enrique González. Gonzalez went on to reflect of the historic significance of having “two Nobel Prize winners for literature: one in life, Mario Vargas Llosa, and one in memory, Gabriel Garcia Marquez,” referring to the recently deceased Colombian legend whose death marked the start of the annual fair.
Vargas Llosa’s attendance, meanwhile, can be attributed to the position of honor given to Peru during this year’s festival, which featured a special focus on Peruvian literature. Apart from the Nobel-winner, the country brought by far the largest international delegation in the fair’s history, according to organizers, and the Peruvian literature stand was also the most visited, followed by the children’s book stand, the publishers, and the comic stand.
“Peru surpassed all barriers of any previous guest of honor,” said Juan Camilo Sierra, director of the Economic Culture Fund, who praised “the architecture of the pavilion, the exhibition of photographs by Morgana Vargas Llosa, and the Inca Trail, the chronology of authors displayed on the walls, in a very clever way, the universe of Peruvian books, from the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega to the group of contemporary authors, the exhibition Cisneros (…) and of course, the library, the heart of the pavilion, in which 1,200 available titles went on sale, 63 publishers and 650 authors.”
As of Sunday night, the Peruvian stand had sold some 9,100 books, according to Sierra.
According to Proexport, the government-funded agency charged with promoting Colombia and Colombian business, some $3.9 million in additional business took place during the festival, with $12 million still pending.
La mejor FILBo de la historia (filbo)