Monday, November 21, 2016

Five Days Filled with Books by Sonja Merz, Guest Blogger

Did you attend the RES Book Fair here at the school last spring?  I did!  In fact, I have been to many different book fairs this year.  The smallest one I went to was here at RES.  The largest one was in Frankfurt, Germany. 
The book fair here at RES was as big as one classroom.  The Frankfurt Book Fair is much, much bigger.  I think you could fit 7000 RES book fairs into the Frankfurt Book Fair.  It is almost as big as 10 football fields!!!

Crowds at the Frankfurt Book Fair

You may be wondering who comes to such a big book fair?  The attendees all work in the publishing industry and they come from over 120 different countries.  Some of them are authors, some of them own bookstores, some of them are librarians and some are publisher's representatives like me!  My job as a publisher's representative is to sell new books to bookstores in Asia.  As part of my job I have attended the Frankfurt Book Fair each year for the last 20 years.

Brazil booth
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry's largest event.  It has been held every year since 1949 (68 years!) and every year more than 275,000 people from around the world attend this fair.  When I go to Frankfurt Book Fair I meet with my customers from Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries and I show them the new books that are coming next year.  The publishers I work for have booths with all their new books on display.  They are just some of the 7000 publishers from all around the world who rent a booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair.  The booths are very creative and some of them are very beautiful.  Here are some pictures of different booths at Frankfurt Book Fair

German booth
Thailand booth
Workman booth

Literary characters
The book fair is five days long.  The first three days of the fair are only for professional booksellers and librarians to visit and buy books for their stores and libraries.  These are the busiest days at the fair for me. In one day at Frankfurt I can meet with customers from 10 different countries!  On the last two days, anyone can visit as long as they buy a ticket.  They even have a policy that if you dress as a literary character, you can get in free. 

So if you want to attend the largest book fair in the world and see all of the exciting new books that will be coming to bookstores and libraries around the world next year, the place to be is Frankfurt, Germany.  I'm already planning my visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2017!
2017 Book Fair Logo
About Sonja Merz: Sonja Merz is a lifelong resident of Rockport and a graduate of Rockport High School.  After studying at the University of Wisconsin, she returned to Rockport to pursue a career in publishing.  Sonja worked for Rockport Publishers for 10 years before starting a business as a freelance publisher's representative.  Sonja has three children in the Rockport school system, Evelyn (grade 9), Daniel (grade 7) and Edward (grade 5).


  1. Thanks for sharing, Sonja! I love the pictures!

    1. I have always wanted to attend the world's largest book fair, and the pictures sealed the deal for me! Thanks for your comment!