THE annual Palma Book Fair returns to its traditional home on the Borne this Friday after last year taking place in the Parc de Ses Estacions opposite the Plaza España.
The organisers of the event told Palma Council that they wished to return to the emblematic boulevard at the heart of the city this year.
Marian Colom, the President of the Majorcan Guild of Booksellers, announced yesterday that the novelist and winner of the City of Palma prize in 2007, Miquel Mas Ferrà, will deliver the fair's opening address at 6pm.
This year there will be over 40 stands - including 11 representing bookshops and a presentation area - in two rows as has been the custom traditionally.
This year there will be more space in between, say the organisers.
The director of this 26th edition of the fair, Antonio Martorell, said that this fair will be open between 10.30am to 2pm and 4.30pm to 9pm.
There will also be five percent discounts on books and tickets to readings during the week.
During the course of the fair, there will be various book launches and signings, workshops for children and poetry recitals.
Among the highlights of the fair will be the presentation on June 2 of a volume of poetry and a recital featuring the participation of 18 young people from the University of the Balearic Isles.
The fair will also see the launch of several books relating to the figure of the great medieval monarch and King of Aragon, Jaume I, whose 800th birthday is being celebrated with various events this year.
An odd mixture of cartoons and clothing, Litelatura, is launched by the Sloper publishing house on May 31, while Cada dibuixant és una illa, which features the work of seven cartoonists, among them Pere Joan, Max, Tomeu Sequí, Guillem Mas and Antoni Planas, will be launched on June 6.
The collection is being published by Inrevés with the support of the Institute for Balearic Studies.
On June 7, at 7.30pm, the Associations of Writers in the Catalan Language will present ConTEXTViu in which various writers will read, comment and experience new literary trends.
The following day at 6.45pm, Caterina Valriu and Tomàs Vibot will present their book El rei en Jaume I; un heroi històric.
Among the book signings that will take place between the start of the fair on Friday and June 8 are El cel dins la memòria by Mas Ferrà and Els Deus irresponsables by Biel Mestre Oliver, both of which will take place on the opening day of the fair.
The following day it's the turn of David Torres with Bellas y bestias and Román Piña with La isla que la palma.
The budget for this year's fair is about 100'000 euros according to the director.
The object of the fair is not only to highlight new developments in the literary world, but also bring culture and fun to those residents who come to the Borne.
According to the Federation of Spanish Publishing Guilds' barometer of the country's reading and book buying habits, the Balearics has an index of 57 percent, just above the national average of 56.9 percent. Madrid is at the top with an index of 65.7 percent, followed by Catalonia (59.3 percent), the Canaries (58.7 percent), Asturias (58.4 percent), Aragón (58.2 percent) and the Basque Country (57.4 percent).
The community with the lowest index is Extramadura with 49.5 percent.