Germany: land of books
There may be no German citizen that never read a word of Goethe, Brecht or Thomas Mann. We could say that Germany is a book country!
With around 94,000 titles published or re-published annually, it is one of the world’s leading book nations. International Frankfurt Book Fair, which is held every October, is still the international publishing world’s most important meeting, while the smaller Leipzig Book fair in the spring has also made a name for itself as reading festival for the general public.
Modern book stores plus antiquarian and second-hand bookshops can be found in practically every town or city. Libraries, bookshops and literature clubs organize readings and book signing sessions. Many cities arrange reading competitions for young children and teenagers. Young poets go head to head in public poetry slams. And Europe’s largest festival of poetry takes place in Berlin every year. Reading is still one of the most popular German pastimes. Nowadays, many enjoy literature by listening to audio books. The number of new audio book releases continues to grow at a considerable rate.
Furthermore, based on the famous international contests, the German Book Prize, started in 2005, honors the best novel of the year and has been successful in effectively marketing highbrow literature to the public. In addition to the prize money, winners of the German Book Prize can look forward to high sales figures and media attention.
“Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you secruity and friendship and didn’t ask for anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.” Cornelia Funke