The Warsaw show is generally considered principal chance for Central and East European authors, publishers and book-lovers to get together. Last year's gathered 514 exhibitors from 27 countries, and had 420 events with total attendance approaching 30,000. More than seven hundred newsmen were covering the show.
The 49th Book Fair, at Warsaw's Culture and Research Palace, May 20 into 23, will have Russia for guest of honour.
"We have every reason to say that a new custom is emerging. Russia was for a first time guest of honour at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's biggest. Next year, it will have the same status at the Paris Book Salon," remarked a ministerial spokesman.
The Russian exposition in Warsaw will take 1,500 square metres to represent several dozen publishing houses, with I Speak Russian, The Multimedia Cafe, Recreation in Russia, and other thematic shows. New books will be introduced to the public. There will be fiction readings, writers' conferences with readers, and roundtables to involve many Russian authors.
The central part of the exposition, Poland in Russian Editions, will display Polish books in Russian translation, and books in Russian about Poland. The Press Ministry also intends to exhibit rare books on Poland from Russian archives.
Russia's Culture Ministry will sponsor an ambitious cultural programme outside the book fair premises but related to the event. It will reach its peak with a gala concert by Russian performers.