Reading isn’t a big pastime in Peru, and in many towns and cities it can be a struggle to even find a decent paperback to borrow or buy. One annual event, however, is trying its best to raise the profile of reading as a popular pursuit for all Peruvians.
The Feria Internacional del Libro de Lima (FIL-Lima), or Lima International Book Fair, began back in 1995 and has been growing in popularity ever since.
The annual event is convened and organized by the Cámara Peruana del Libro (Peruvian Book Chamber), and is typically held in the latter half of July.
The venue has changed over the years, with fairs held across Lima in locations such as the convention center of the Jockey Plaza Shopping Center in the Santiago de Surco district, the Museo de la Nación in the San Borja district and in Parque de los Próceres in Jesús María.
The 2014 event, which began on July 18 and continues until August 3, returns to Parque de los Próceres in Jesús María, with 500,000 people expected to attend.
As in previous years, the 2014 fair has a guest country, in this case Chile, with extra focus on the literary culture of the selected nation. Chilean writers attending the event include Antonio Skármeta and Pablo Simonetti; there will also be a tribute to the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra.
Guest countries since 2009 have included Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina and Puerto Rico. But it’s not only writers and publishers from Latin America that attend the Lima International Book Fair, with more international authors coming to Lima each year.
Journalist and author Susan Orlean, perhaps best known as the author of The Orchid Thief, will be representing the United States at the 2014 fair.
If this all sounds a little too bookish for your liking, keep in mind that the fair also includes theatrical performances, cinema, music, dance and visual arts, so there’s a good chance you’ll be inspired by something.
For more about the Lima International Book Fair, see the Feria Internacional del Libro de Lima website (www.fillima.com.pe) and Facebook page.