The Complete Calendar of International Book Fairs in 2018 [Infographic]
Note: Don’t forget to check out the 2023 book fairs list!
With the beginning of each new year, we all make promises to ourselves about the positive changes we’d like to make in our lives over the coming 12 months. The new year is the perfect excuse to get your teeth stuck into a fresh pile of books (and as many of the following book fairs also sell books at discounts, your wallet won’t suffer too much!)
In the following 12 months, there are plenty of opportunities to walk along shelves piled high with books, searching for the latest literary gems. The following book fairs are just a taster of this year’s top options from around the world.
January book fairs
Location: New Delhi, India
Date: 6 – 14 January
Spice up your reading list at India’s oldest book fair. Many internationally recognized Indian authors have been translated into English, if you’re interested.
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Date: 27 January – 10 February
The Middle East’s oldest (and largest) book fair is a world literary overview. Drop everything and enjoy the amazing books and cultural events.
Location: Kolkata, India
Date: 30 January – 11 February
This fair is about soaking in the atmosphere of picknickers and song-writers alongside the books. It’s also, apparently, the most attended book fair in the world!
February book fairs
Location: Havana, Cuba
Date: 1 – 11 February
Held in old Spanish fortifications at the harbor, you can take in a cultural experience as much as literary in Havana.
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Date: 6 – 11 February
Featuring techno hubs as well as shelves and shelves of books, Taipei’s book fair is a great way to get in touch with what people are reading.
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
Date: 8 – 18 February
You don’t need to spend your time only in the old medina or at the beach. Tear yourself away, at least for a day, and you won’t regret it.
Location: Muscat, Oman
Date: 21 February – 3 March
Located in one of the GCC’s quieter emirates, Muscat’s Book Fair is the perfect opportunity to explore this lesser known (but very beautiful gem) of the Gulf.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 22 – 25 February
What better way to enjoy books than in an international a city like Brussels . You can add to that this book fair, which also covers digital publishing.
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Date: 22 – 25 February
The most important of the Baltic book fairs, it is just the right ticket to learn more about the country.
March book fairs
Location: Dubai, UAE
Date: 1 – 10 March
What better way to swap this city’s hyperactivity with yet more literary hyperactivity? You can also enjoy writing competitions and free live performances.
Location: Milan, Italy
Date: 8 – 12 March
Milan is already well known for its coolness, but it isn’t just fashion and good looks here. You’ll find a wealth of decent literature at the book fair.
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Date: 15 – 18 March
As the second largest book fair in Germany, Leipzig still boasts a fantastic range of books. There are also over 1,800 other events associated with the book fair going on.
Location: Paris, France
Date: 16 – 19 March
Who doesn’t like a good romance novel? This is the perfect opportunity to combine the city of love with your passion for books.
Location: Alexandria, Egypt
Date: 22 March – 4 April
Everyone in Alexandria feels that anything worthwhile happens in Cairo – not so with the book fair which still has the same decent range of literature as in Cairo.
Location: Bologna, Italy
Date: 26 – 29 March
Italy isn’t just pizza – how about a detour to beautiful Bologna for a fair that will pique your child’s tastebuds for reading.
Date: 28 March – 8 April
Featuring over 900 booths from Thailand and abroad, each year a different country is featured to highlight its culture and traditions.
April book fairs
Location: London, UK
Date: 10 – 12 April
With over 25,000 participating publishers and bookstores, this is the perfect place to get lost and find just about every book you could ever wish for.
Location: Quebec, Canada
Date: 11 – 15 April
Set in beautiful Quebec City, how about picking up a few books to read whilst relaxing in the nearby Jacques-Cartier National Park?
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Date: 17 April – 2 May
One of Colombia’s most important cultural events, it’ll provide you with more than just Gabriel Garcia Marquez –you’ll also get to enjoy well over 1,000 cultural events on the side.
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Date: 19 – 22 April
Surrounded by long history and swirling in culture, neither entirely European nor Asian, this is the perfect addition to your list of places to visit when you come to Hungary.
Location: Astana, Kazakhstan
Date: 25 – 28 April
Claiming to be the largest cultural and education event in Eurasia, this makes a great literary meeting point aside from Kazakhstan’s awe inspiring natural landscape.
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Date: 25 April – 1 May
Abu Dhabi is giving Dubai a run for its money culturally, and their book fair is a great way to see the emirate’s cultural aspects.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Date: 26 – 29 April
Set against the natural beauty of lakes and mountains, this high-calibre event also features a range of discussions and workshops.
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date: 26 – 14 May
Authors such as Susan Sontag and Ray Bradbury have made appearances here. Why not follow in their footsteps too and pick out some gems for the bookshelves?
May book fairs
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Date: 3 – 6 March
It isn’t just about Homer’s epics at this book fair, although you will be able to delve even deeper into this crossroads of culture and history.
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Date: 10 – 13 May
Prague isn’t just about its historic value and beautiful architecture – there’s also this enormous book fair featuring over 600 participants from around the world.
Location: Turin, Italy
Date: 10 – 14 May
Although not too many details have been released yet, Turin’s spot as a major northern Italian city of industry and culture is well deserved.
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Date: 17 – 20 May
Featuring over 800 exhibitors, Warsaw adds to its cultural and historic heritage with this fantastic book fair. There are also over 1,500 events, including discussions and debates.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Date: 25 May – 10 June
Location: New York, USA
Date: 30 May – 1 June
North America’s largest and most important book fair, you’ll also be able to meet the authors and rising stars. If you’re looking to self-publish, this fair is the ideal place to get the best advice.
Location: Tehran, Iran
The ideal break from Iran’s overdose of culture and history, you can also choose from English, French, Arabic and German literature in this over-sized haven of books.
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
With a stellar reputation for its literary output, showcased at this fair, it’s time to pay this up-and-coming country a visit.
June book fairs
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Date: 1 – 18 June
One of Lisbon’s oldest cultural events, and located in one of the city’s beautiful central parks, you can literally read your newly-bought books out in the park.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Date: 14 – 18 June
Seoul isn’t just high-tech. Time to drag yourself away from the gadgets and dive into a little more traditional of a past-time.
July book fairs
Location: Hong Kong, China
Date: 18 – 24 July
Hong Kong’s already known as a global financial capital, but it’s book fair is also well worth a visit. More details will be released soon on what happens in 2018.
Location: San Diego, USA
Date: 19 – 22 July
More unusual in focus, this is the place you need to be for everything comic. Features everything from comic books to costumes.
Location: Lima, Peru
Date: 21 July – 6 August
Join over 500,000 visitors to discover 15,000 square meters of pure literary bliss from all over the world.
August book fairs
Location: Shanghai, China
Date: 16 – 22 August
Shanghai may be better known for its industry, but you can also take a literary break in 23,000 square meters of books too!
Location: Beijing, China
Date: 22 – 26 August
If you’re big on far-eastern literature, then this is just the place for you. It has also recently up-ed its game with an extensive children’s section.
Location: Accra, Ghana
Date: 30 August – 2 September
A celebration of culture and knowledge, you’ll also find out the latest in digital publishing trends with a distinctly African taste.
September book fairs
Location: Washington, USA
Date: 1 September
Set right in the heart of the city, you can enjoy yet another mouthwatering site to visit whilst in Washington.
Location: Moscow, Russia
Date: 5 – 9 September
Describing itself as the “traditional opening [for] the fall book fair season”, this is a great way to get ahead of the game and found out about the newest books on the scene.
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Date: 7 – 9 September
One of the fastest growing book fairs in southern Africa, take time off from visiting the city’s many museums for your dose of books.
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Date: 12 – 16 September
Indonesia (2018) – Most people visit Indonesia for its natural beauty, but there’s also a fantastic book fair to visit too, featuring discussions and shelves and shelves of books.
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Date: 13 – 17 September
Ukraine’s rich literary history is brought together in this book fair, which also features discussions and debates.
Location: Amman, Jordan
Date: 26 September – 6 October
It’s not just Roman ruins you can check out in the quiet buzz of Amman, step away from history, just for a little while, and into the literary world.
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Date: 27 – 30 September
As the largest cultural event in Scandinavia, it certainly attracts the participants and the crowds – and features excellent discussions.
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the land of authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Ananda Coomaraswamy, which makes Colombo’s book fair a must see for avid readers.
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s book fair may not be top of the list, but it is certainly expanding, with more than 100 particpants at the 2017 event.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
There’s no need to leave town for a safari. This is a great day out in the bustling city (and less visited by tourists), and it’s the perfect setting to find out more about Kenyan literature.
October book fairs
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Date: 10-14 October
The world’s largest book fair, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a break from business to browse the stalls of over 7,000 exhibitors.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Date: 25 – 28 October
Helsinki’s book fair features a wide array of literature, from your standard book to comics. There’s such a wide variety, you’re spoiled for choice.
Location: Doha, Qatar
Qatar’s trying to make its mark on the international scene, and when it comes to literature it has a more than worthy local literary scene. Its book fair is also quite good too.
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp’s book fair is unique in that it focuses primarily on specific languages, notably Flemish and Dutch. However, it does have several international participants too.
Location: Santiago, Chile
One of Chile’s most famous daughters is novelist Isabel Allende – and her magic realist novels are a must grab from her native country’s book fair.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Focused on showcasing Australasian authors, there are also many international publishers selling their literary gems here.
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
One of the oldest and most notable book fairs in the Balkans, Belgrade’s book fair also features a variety of debates and discussions.
November book fairs
Location: Sharjah, UAE
Despite being one of the quieter emirates, Sharjah’s book fair is still worth a visit – and includes a cultural cafe and children’s events.
Location: Multiple cities, Venezuela
Held in cities all over the country, this fair is a great way to be introduced to South American literature, through almost 300 publishers.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Although a relative newcomer on the book fair scene, it has still established itself as a notable literary event in Austria.
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
One of the most important book fairs in South America, you don’t need to be on Mexico’s famous beaches to have a good time. Get down to this must-see fair for a real cultural fiesta.
Location: Valletta, Malta
Malta’s already established itself as a tourism destination – it also has a family-friendly book festival, attracting over 30,000 visitors annually.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Ireland’s aural literature is well known, as is its written literature. Dublin’s book festival is the perfect showcase for this.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Turkey (TBC) – Taking a break from beautiful Istanbul at the city’s book fair is a great way to expand on your knowledge of local literature.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
If literature for a younger audience is your thing, then this is the perfect place to come and pick up all the latest releases.
Location: Montreal, Canada
Montreal’s buzzing cultural nature means you can check out the books during the day, amongst other events, whilst soaking up its nightlife later on.
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slovenia’s book fair is a great way to delve deeper into this beautiful little country’s literary history (which isn’t just about Slavok Zizek).
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland’s literary reputation is based on the sagas of old, but you’ll still find a terrific variety of reads (books are the most popular gifts at Christmas time in Iceland).
December book fairs
Location: Pula, Croatia
Although more famed for its history and natural beauty, Pula’s Festival also highlights Croatia’s rich literary history.
Location: Rome, Italy
Finding reasons to visit Rome isn’t hard, but the city’s book fair simply adds yet another reason. It also claims to focus entirely on independent publishing.
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Not too many details have been released yet, but it’s a great place to find out more about a lesser known literary tradition.
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Not only do you get to visit one of Saudi Arabia’s most beautiful cities, but you get a book fair to boot.
Have we missed any important international book fairs around you? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our list.
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