São Paulo International Book Biennial

São Paulo International Book Biennial
Photo: bienaldolivrosp.com.br
Probably every major city in the world hosts at least one book fair or literary festival (or both). Some of such events take place each year, while others are held biennially like the São Paulo International Book Biennial in Brazil.

One of the most significant cultural events in São Paulo is the São Paulo Art Biennial. Founded in 1951, it is the second oldest art biennial in the world after the Venice Biennale. The São Paulo International Book Biennial (Bienal Internacional do Livro de São Paulo) was founded to complement the art biennial. It is usually held right before the São Paulo Art Biennial, ending a couple of days before the art exhibition starts.

The first book fair in São Paulo took place in 1951. Sadly, it took a decade to organize the next edition. It was held in 1961 and was remarkable in that it was the first international book fair in Brazil. Over the years, the São Paulo International Book Biennial has grown to become one of Brazil’s largest cultural events. It takes place at the Anhembi Convention Center, which is one of the largest event grounds in Latin America. The event draws about 800,000 attendees, half of whom are locals, and the other half come from all over Brazil and abroad.

Like most book fairs, the São Paulo International Book Biennial is a cross between a trade fair and literary festival. In addition to an extensive selection of books by national and foreign publishers, it offers a comprehensive cultural program that encompasses literature, culture, gastronomy, business, and more. Besides, the event is an important meeting place for publishers, booksellers and distributors.

For book lovers, the event offers a great opportunity to find the country’s biggest publishers and booksellers in one place, learn more about the most important projects and launches, meet their favorite national and international authors at book signings and Q&As, and participate in a wide range of cultural activities for all ages such as lectures, debates, workshops, games, storytelling sessions, book launches and signings.

The event is divided into several cultural spaces, each with its own theme and set of activities. They include the Cultural Arena dedicated to best-selling authors from Brazil and abroad, the Ideas Room dedicated to social and cultural debates, the BiblioSesc space for experiencing and participating in book adventures, Cooking with Words for foodies, and Maurício de Sousa by BIC Kids Space for children.

In 2020, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

São Paulo International Book Biennial

Photo: Bienal Internacional do Livro de São Paulo




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