Palma's 20th annual book fair opened yesterday with the inaugural address given by the winner of last year's City of Palma Prize, Sebastiá Alzamora. In his speech the author said “we read to live a better life, to find our selves and learn how to die.” The Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, headed the list of dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony, aided by the municipal band. This year's 30 exhibitors are taking part in the fair and over 50'000 different titles are on show. The fair will remain open along the Borne until Sunday June 9 and thousands of people are expected to visit the event. The book fair is a key event for the Majorcan publishing industry and also an important weapon in the battle to encourage more people to read. Last year 520 books were published in the Balearics, the majority in Catalan, and 792.000 copies sold. The fair features books on a wide range of topics, many about Majorca, its history and culture and some are in English, German and French. However, over recent years, local academics have tried to develop the event into a showcase for Catalan literature.