We hear it so often it’s easy to start believing it. People are reading less. Nobody is buying books. The publishing industry is doomed.
Yet with a handful of exceptions the evidence – if we step outside the oh-so-twentieth-century notion that bookstores are the only barometer of interest in and revenue from books – is that more and more people are flooding to book events around the world, driven by social media and driven by the choices that are available outside the mainstream bricks & mortar bookselling infrastructure .
This week comes news that #SalTo19 (Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino) – that’s the Turin International Book Fair to those of us not privileged to speak Italian – has once again seen record visitors.
148,034 people turned out for the core event in Lingotto, and another 27,000 attended the fringe events that surrounded the main fair.
That’s up from 144,386 in 2018, which in turn was up slightly from 143,815 in 2017.
63,000 m2 allocated to the exhibitors helped to welcome visitors during these days of discovery. With 530 meetings held in some 270 different places in the region – the 8 departments of the city and the 20 municipalities of the territory, and more widely – the Turin Book Fair extended to Piedmont.
Nicola Lagioia, director of the event, will remain at the helm until 2021.
The 2020 Turin fair will be held May 14-18 and the 2021 fair May 14-18.
No word here about Turin’s 2019 sales levels but in 2018 most publishers were reporting strong trade from the event.
I’ll update this post if any further details emerge.