The 22nd Budapest International Book Festival is to open with around 400 events on Thursday at Budapest’s Millenáris Park. The book fair’s star guest this year will be American writer Jonathan Franzen, whose self-biographical novel Discomfort Zone will be introduced to the public on Saturday. During the festival’s four days, Hungary will host the world’s largest book store.
At the event’s press conference on Wednesday, festival director Péter László Zentai explained that this year’s fair is focused on the past 220 years of Hungarian bibliographical culture. The exposition and fair, which is to open on the world day of the book and authors’ rights – the day Shakespeare and Cervantes died – will await those interested until Sunday, he added.
Over thirty countries will be represented at the fair and around fifty foreign writers are expected to attend beyond the 500 authors from Hungary and Hungarian minority communities abroad. The festival’s HUF 500 entrance fee will be deductable from book prices.
According to the Central Statistical Office’s figures, the number of books published last year increased by 10 per cent compared to 2013 to 10 333. The number of printed copies also increased by one million to 18 000 000, the festival’s director highlighted.