Leipzig (dpa) - No host country, but a focus region is the focus of this year's Leipzig Book Fair. Literature from Southeast Europe should be brought closer to a broad German-speaking audience from 2020 to 2022, announced book fair director Oliver Zille in Leipzig.

Under the motto “Common Ground”, attention should be directed sustainably to literati in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. For this purpose, local structures are to be strengthened and publishers are recruited, which promote authors from Southeast Europe. Some of the countries have been host countries in recent years.

Even after the Czech host country appearance last year, the country will again play a role at this year's book fair: Eleven Czech authors are again expected in Leipzig - in the coming year Portugal should put its stamp on the book fair as a host country.

The organizers are expecting around 2500 exhibitors from 51 countries at the book show from March 12th to 15th. With a view to the publishing program, the book fair director said: “You don't have such a strong spring every year.” Around 3700 events with around 3600 participants at around 500 locations on the exhibition grounds and in the city of Leipzig are planned. The topics of climate protection and sustainability as well as gender equality will also be the focus. Fiction should not be neglected either. "We have a steadily growing fantasy area and a crime area that can't be killed," says Zille.

Reading promotion is another focus of the Leipzig Book Fair. Under the heading "#World Discovery", teachers, parents, children and young people are to be brought together in more than 500 events. "It all starts with reading skills," said Zille. It is the key to access to education. Reading could be used to understand and classify social relationships. "For us, promoting reading is closely linked to political education," said Zille.

The Manga-Comic-Con, which takes place parallel to the book fair, is colorful and imaginative. Artists from the USA, Japan and Brazil want to talk to their fans, who are expected in elaborate and flashy costumes.

Leipzig Book Fair