Rome, small and medium publishers at “Più libri più liberi” fair

from the youtube channel of Compagnia del Libro

Italian article by Alessandra Vitullo – English Translation by Lucia D’Addato and Fiorella Mastropierro

The 9th edition of “Più libri più liberi”, the national book fair for small and medium publishers, is confirmed again as one of the most successful events in Rome, despite there were 52 thousand visitors rather than 55 thousand ones as the last year.

The key words of this event have been innovation and heterogeneity accompanied by the presence of lots of youth among the stands coming from all over Italy, set up by small and independent publishing houses. In Italy, this is one of the ideal places in which the purposeful work of publishing’s other side is promoted: this last constantly pays attention to experimental literature, the only one that could keep originality and variety alive in local literature. It is a work that finds its source of strength exactly in the preciosity of styles, topics and authors and, despite of its limited resources, it finds even the freedom of getting away from big publishers’ market dynamics, in order to experience unexplored narrative worlds.

It is a very wide choice of books renewed by as many meetings and debates in the presence of big names that have developed Italian culture and also of common people. Among the most famous people following one another there were: Lucio Dalla, Andrea Camilleri, Margherita Hack, Furio Colombo, Luìs Sepulveda, Adriano Sofri, Eugenio Bennato.

Among the several topics, the future of print publishing industry was the most controversial one, more than ever before in connection with the “e-book’s dilemma”. Digital reading and writing is the ace in the hole of these publishing houses; thanks to them they can cross production and delivery costs, main cause of many publishers’ bankrupt. At the same time a burning problem has been raised: Are the readers ready to dive into the digital?

As last year, the fair provided the readers with the e-book corner, to make themselves familiar with it, or at least, to show them how the last “electronic oddity” (as a lot of people consider it) works.

As Italy’s National Statistics Institute says, It seems that 2010 can end with a good piece of news for small publishers: The number of readers in Italy increased by one million (from 45.1% to 46.8%). But this is a statistic that includes also readers that read just one book in a year.

“You can’t eat with culture” said somebody unhappily a while ago, and maybe for several publishers this is a true statement, but they have the chance of being the main producers of what we can really call Culture, essential to nourish the soul, thanks to their being cut out from the wild market rules.

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