Despite the influx of nearly 100,000 visitors, organizers say that at this year’s edition of Bookfest, many chose to buy just a volume or two, not a net of books, as in other years.
Mihai Mitrică, Bookfest organizer: “There are many reasons and we start from the immediate ones, namely the strike in education, we move on to the economic crisis and we stop at the part of education, but at that part of education that should provide readers; the educational system does not build readers and it shows.”
Italy was the country guest of honor at the 16th edition of the Bookfest International Book Fair. The Italian book market had a value of 3,429 billion Euro in 2021 and is positioned as the main cultural industry in Italy, the fourth publishing industry in Europe, after Germany, the United Kingdom and France. Italy invests over 1 million Euro every year in grants for translations. In the last twenty years, the difference between rights bought and those sold abroad has narrowed: in 2020, according to the latest available data, 8,586 titles were sold and 9,127 titles were purchased.
The Executive Director of the Romanian Publishers Association, Mihai Mitrică, emphasized that “the Romanian book market has a lot to learn from the way Italy supports culture in written form. Cultural vouchers, important acquisitions for public libraries and programs to promote reading are just some of Italy’s strategies that we should also apply in Romania.”