THE city's 23rd Book Fair is all set to open today, in its new venue, the Plaza España, as its usual site on the Borne was deemed unsuitable because of the construction of the underground carpark in the Avda Antonio Maura. Dolça Mulet, head of the Council of Majorca's cultural department, Francesc Tutzó, director of Fires i Congressos, who organise the Fair, and Francesc Moll and Pau Taura, representing Majorca's booksellers, spoke about the fair yesterday. The opening speech at today's opening at noon will be given by Majorcan writer Victor Gayá, winner of the Alexandre Ballester prize for novels with his work Cercle Enigmático (Enigmatic Circle). More than 50'000 books will be on display, many of them in English, German and other languages, although the majority will be in Spanish or Catalan.
Publishers take advantage of the Fair to launch new titles and authors will be on hand to sign their works. There will also be lectures and other cultural events. Pau Taura said that the change of venue should not affect sales, “as more people pass through the Plaza España than the Borne.” But Francesc Moll said that the Fair should return to its original site as soon as possible, “as it is an emblematic part of the city.” And this despite annual protests by traders in the Borne who claim that their sales drop whenever the Book Fair is held there. But Moll dismissed this criticism, claiming that the Fair brought more people to the centre.
There is less space in the Plaza España than the Borne, and the number of stands has been reduced to 23.
The best selling list of books at the Fair is expected to be dominated by works such as the Harry Potter books and The Da Vinci Code.
The Fair will be open until June 5, from 10am to 9pm on weekdays and 10am to 2pm and 4.30 to 9pm at weekends.