Belgrade International Book Fair is my most favorite cultural event of all times. You could guess that I love books and that I'm probably a member of readers' clubs with book discounts, so for me visiting the Book Fair is more than just an opportunity to buy cheap books - it's my annual ritual, when I enjoy browsing through thousands of books, feeling the smell of newly printed books, meeting authors... I don't enjoy the crowds, though, but it's the price I have to pay - no pain, no gain, right?
Belgrade International Book Fair is the third largest fair in Europe and the second oldest in Europe. In 2007 the number of visitors has reached 200.000, while each year the number of visitors is never under 145-150.000. 531 national and 314 international publishers participated at the 53rd Book Fair in 2008. It is an annual event scheduled for the third Monday in October, the week long event takes place at Belgrade Fair, but this year's Fair starts on 26th October, ending on 1st November.
Every year The Book Fair has special topics (e.g. "Two Centuries of the High School") and the Guest of Honor Country, and the writer/s from that country come to the Fair. Last year's Country Guest of Honor was Japan, and natsuki Ikezawa was the writer guest of honor. This year's Guest of Honor Country is Greece. Canada is now already traditionally (7 consecutive years) presenting its authors, illustrators, publishers, and new Canadian titles translated into Serbian. This year's international guests will be also from Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Croatia. The Book Fair organizes numerous themed programs and events, conferences, annual meetings and exhibitions, as well as award ceremonies for established prize categories, such as Publisher of the Year, Publishing Project of the Year, The Best Edition etc. From this year the Book Fair will have the Comic Strip Workshop, with numerous famous guests from that field.
If you are in Belgrade in this period, I warmly recommend you to visit the Book Fair - you won't regret it. Avoid 29th October, since it's School Day, if you don't want to spend your time surrounded by zillion children running around. Also, have in mind that busiest days are during weekend, especially the last day of the fair. Entrance fee is around 3 € (250 Dinars), working hours 10 A.M.- 8 P.M.