By Ricardo Alonso Venereo
The XVIII International Bock Fair Cuba 2009 ended in San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, in the Cuban Capital and from next February 26th to March 8th it will go to the rest of the West Indies in the Caribbean. It will start in the western part of the country (from February 26th to the first of March) and then to the eastern part (from March 5th to 8th), with the official closing in Santiago de Cuba, until its XIX Edition in 2010.
More than a million copies were sold in the Fair in Havana, which not only were in San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress but also in all the bookstores located in Havana City, Pabellon Cuba, in Vedado and the Agriculture Fair in Rancho Boyeros. These two last ones will continue selling books until March the first.
The audience attending the Fair in the Capital had the opportunity to know more about the Chilean literature and its writers, as this was the Special Guest - condition they will transfer to Russia in 2010 - and to pay homage to the poet Fina Garcia Marruz, National Literature Prize, and the researcher Jorge Ibarra, Social Science and History Prize, those who at the same time will transfer to Reinaldo Gonzalez, National Literature Prize, and to Maria del Carmen Barcia, Social Science National Prize, personalities to whom the XIX International Book Fair Cuba 2010 will be dedicated to.
Also, to know about the history of Casa de las Americas, an institution that will celebrate its 50th anniversary and the Fair is also paying homage.
But outside the Capital they will pay homage to Fina, Ibarra and Chile too, because they will keep on being the guests in this XVIII Fair and of course, they will receive attention in the rest of the Cuban geography.
La Cabaña was again the ideal place of the meeting between writers and the public, between the readers and the books, to know about new dreams and realities, to know the editors' and designers' job, to award devotion and the talent of many Cubans that find in the world of the book a reason to be better every day and give everything for the education of the people.
There are the Cuban editorials that are making their greatest efforts to make people know more than 200 titles and that together with the printing press had manufactured eight million volumes so that every body could take home a book or some, especially, the children, the greatest readers of the future.
The foreign exponents that had arrived with their texts, returned with a few of them. Many people think it is incredible the eagerness of the Cuban for the reading. This hobby started many years ago when Fidel Castro said to the people: "read" and he created - 50 years ago – the Cuban National Printing Press, that had published as its first book: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quijote de la Mancha, from Cervantes, in four volumes at the moderate price of one peso each.
There were ten days which had made the audience of the Capital shudder and to those who had visited us and they checked by their own the beautiful magic that is established between the people and the book in the Fair.
So long, said the Fair in the Capital. It is the same as the beginning of a long journey of letters and love all over Cuba.
Translator: Caridad Martinez Fernandez