Books in Spanish
The U.K. will be the guest of honor at the 29th annual Guadalajara International Book
Fair (FIL), set to run November 28–December 6, in Guadalajara, Mexico. More than
900 publishers from 44 countries will be participating in the nine-day fair, the largest
Spanish-language book fair in the world.
Salman Rushdie, who was at the fair in 1995, will return to FIL to kick off the literary program, which includes a total of 650 authors from 38 countries. With Britain as
the guest of honor this year, the British delegation includes more than 150 writers,
academics, artists, and publishing representatives from England, Northern Ireland,
Scotland, and Wales.
One of the fair’s key elements are the professionals that attend the first three days of
FIL. More than 20,000 librarians, booksellers, distributors, editors, translators, illustrators, and agents are expected to attend this year. The Rights Center, a small space
that started a few years ago with a couple of tables, and which looks a bit like a fish
bowl, has already booked 125 companies from 27 countries for 2015. The FIL rights
center has become an important place for Ibero-America deal making.
As U.S. publishers, librarians, distributors, agents, and authors (such as Jonathan
Franzen) prepare to be head to FIL, so is PW. For a full listing of activities, please visit
The Book Truck Hits the San Diego Streets
Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE), based in Mexico City, is one of the largest publishers
in Latin America and has had an office in San Diego since 1990. Although the company
owns 32 bookstores, including one in Washington, D.C., when FCE saw declining
points of sale for books in San Diego, it decided to borrow from the food truck craze
and bring food for the mind to the city of San Diego with a book truck. PW spoke with
FCE general manager Dorina Razo about this new venture and what the experience
has been thus far.
How did the idea of the book truck come about?
In San Diego we [FCE] don’t have a point of sale outlet like we do in many other parts
of the world and people would show up at our office to buy books. Book trucks are
nothing new, but we decided that we needed to do something to meet the needs of our
clients. Our team lives in San Diego and we are used to seeing food trucks all over the
city, so we decided to cook up a few books. Public transportation is also a challenge in
the city, so bringing the books to the readers made more sense than opening a store.
Where has the book truck been since it hit the road in September?
The priority of the truck is to primarily visit schools with dual immersion programs.
We currently visit three schools per week. The parents and the schools do most of the
buying. What has caught us by surprise has been the large interest from non-Hispanic
parents. These parents usually have their children in dual immersion programs and are
looking for ways to reinforce their learning of Spanish at home. We also bring it to
BY LEYLHA AHUILE
LINEUP FOR GUADALAJARA
BOOK FAIR SET