Seoul International Book Fair

Seoul International Book Fair
The Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF) is one of the most important publishing industry events in Asia, as well as a major cultural event in South Korea. It was first held as a one-off event in 1947 and then reestablished after the Korean War.

The first book fair in Seoul, named the Educational Book Exhibition, was held in October 1947. Because of the Korean War, it took seven years to hold the next edition of the event. The second book fair took place in 1954, its main organizers were the Korean Publishers Association and the National Library of Korea. The event had been known as simply the Book Fair until 1991, when its name was officially changed to the Seoul Book Fair; the word “international” was added to the name in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of South Korea’s indepenedence.

The Korean Publishers Association still remains the main organizer of the SIBF. The Association unites 620 Korean publishers and represents their interests both nationally and internationally. It is widely regarded as the main voice of the South Korean publishing industry. The main goals of the Korean Publishers Association, and, by extension, the SIBF are to raise awareness about the importance of reading among Koreans, to promote the country’s publishing industry internationally, and to facilitate the international book trade.

In 2008, the SIBF featured a Guest of Honor for the first time. Since then, each edition of the fair has focused on books, authors and publishers from a specific country. Past Guests of Honor at the Seoul International Book Fair have included China, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Oman, Italy, Turkey, the Czech Republic and others. The SIBF’s other special programs include the Spotlight Country and the Culture Focus Country.

As we’ve already mentioned, the Seoul International Book Fair is one of the largest and most important events of its kind in the Asian region. It features over 350 exhibitors from some 20 countries and attracts about 200,000 visitors every year. The program consists of more than 150 events, including meetings with authors, signing sessions, seminars, launches and presentations, special events for children and young adults, cultural events, professional conferences, and more.

Seoul International Book Fair

Photo: Republic of Korea




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