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South African Book Fair

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

57 000!

Vanessa Badroodien

According to newspaper reports, this year’s Cape Town Book Fair attracted an estimated 57 000 visitors, exceeding last year’s total by a margin of several thousand – despite straitened circumstances across the board, from publishers’ (whose stands shrunk noticeably this year) to booksellers’ (some of whom didn’t confirm their presence at the Fair until the last minute) to consumers’ (who bravely emptied the CTICC‘s ATMs of cash each day, and reached into their horsewhipped handbags and wallets to scrounge up any vestiges of credit once the cash ran out, to buy books, books and more books).

Amandeep Parmar, writing in today’s Cape Times, cites the figure above as an estimate – and an informal poll by BOOK SA among stand holders and patrons alike confirms that CTBF 2009 exceeded expectations across the board.

The bottom line is that publishers and booksellers did a roaring trade and the glut of authors barely satiated the word-hungry masses. BOOK SA’s own numbers were up, up, up on last year’s, thanks to the stellar efforts of our crack Team #ctbf, plus the crowdsourced contributions from the likes of @mandyjwatson. Roses and garlands to all who participated.

The Cape Town Book Fair has emerged from a period of doubt leaner and meaner; its success in 2009, coupled with the impetus that next year’s London Book Fair is sure to give the local market – SA is the focus country in London next April – has guaranteed that book lovers haven’t seen the last of the region’s pre-eminent book event.

Congratulations to Fair director Vanessa Badroodien and her team. We’ll see you all next year!


Recent comments:

  • Maire
    June 18th, 2009 @02:32 #

    Huge congrats to Vanessa and her team. I so enjoyed the book fair this year. Which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy last year's, but this time round things felt chattier, friendlier and more intimate. Everyone I spoke to had had a great time, and many a bag was bulging with books!


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