The biggest book fair in the world is in full swing in Frankfurt, opening to publishers and guests. It is an industry that has weathered the financial crisis better than most and 280,000 people are expected to visit this year.
Until recently Eugen Ruge was little known outside Germany, but his latest work about 40 years of life in the communist east won him wider recognition worldwide. ‘In Times of Fading Light’ also scooped the German Book Prize.
The book fair heard a warning about illegal distribution of e-books. The association representing Germany’s publishers and booksellers said 60 percent of e-book downloads in Germany are pirated on the internet. It is still a small overall figure though. Only 0.5 percent of literary works in Germany are consumed in electronic form.
The guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair is Iceland and part of the country’s exhibition hall is a reading room as it would have looked in the mid 20th century.