Leipzig is known as the city of music, but that is not its only arts scene. One of the first book fairs, the Leipzieger Buchmesse continues to be one of the largest in the world. In 1632 it actually topped the Frankfurt book fair, but that event is now the largest in Germany. It was an important meet-up during the DDR era with readers and sellers from the East and West and the event has continued to grow since reunification.
2012 was the fair's biggest year with 163,000 visitors and at least 2,900 participants from 39 countries.
Program and Special Events
The event seeks to connect the reading public with the best and brightest in the community. There are over 1,800 separate events for the festival. Exhibition areas include fiction / non-fiction, audio books, international, children’s and teenager’s books, arts books, music, travel, newspapers / magazines and even Manga-Comic-Con.
The fair is open for the general public and professional visitors every day. Visitors can leave with their favorite new books signed by the author.
Sunday is family day. Breakfast is offered to fill young bellies before they fill their minds. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite books and share their reading experiences. Free entry for children by 10:00. There are also family admission plans and readings and programs everyday for children in trade fair hall 2.
With more than 400 international exhibitors, there are also services for international visitors. This is an opportunity for international booksellers and authors to show their work to the German audience.
There is no need to leave the center for sustenance. The exhibition grounds hold five restaurants, snack bars and cafés.
Awards at the Leipzig Book Fair
Along with the readings, interviews and workshops, the best books presented are awarded several important German book prizes. The most influential is the Leipzig Book Fair Prize (Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse). This is the highest prize of the Leipzig Book Fair, given to outstanding newly released literary works in the categories of Fiction, Non-fiction and Translation. The winner in each category is awarded €15,000.
2016 Leipzig Book Fair
The book fair takes place every March for four days at the Leipziger Messe (Trade Fairground). In 2016, it will take place from March 17 to the 20, 2016. As it is one of the first large trade meeting of the year it has the opportunity to introduce brand-new publications. Participants incude Margaret Atwood, Simon Beckett, Ingrid Noll, Frank Schätzing and Martin Suter.
- 2016 Brochure
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00
- Day Ticket: €15 - 18.50 (pre-sale and advance tickets are offered at a discount)
- Map of Leipziger Messe
- Arrival Info: Leipziger Messe is easily located by Autobahn or airport (Leipzig/Halle airport is eight minutes away). By train, arrive at Leipzig's Hauptbahnhof and transfer to the Regionalbahn or S-Bahn and get off at Leipzig Messe (six minutes from city center). By tram, it takes 20 minutes from city center. Info about arriving in Leipzig from Berlin.
Other Literary Events & Locations
- Germany's National Library (with a sister in the West, Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt) has a vast collection of antique books, prints, manuscripts, etc.
- The Gutenbergschule is a school centered on the craft of creating books from printing to bookbinding. The building is also a stellar example of Bauhaus architecture.
- Berlin's International Literature Festival is a prelude to the Frankfurt Book Fair, taking place every September over 10 days.
- The Frankfurt book fair is the largest in Germany.