The 18th International exhibition of books and publishing took place in Casablanca between 10 and 19 February 2012, this edition focused on the theme: “Time to read, time to live”.
Last Saturday, I visited the exhibition and made some remarks:
- The place was very crowded of people, which means that Moroccans become more interested to reading, I was so glad to see that :)
- There were a large number of kids; most of them are accompanied by their parents. This means that parents become aware of the necessity to encourage their children to read. Furthermore, the exhibition itself contained many publishing houses displaying books for kids.
- Many countries participated to this exhibition (more than 40 countries according to the SIEL website); most of them are Arab countries, such as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq. There were also publishing houses from US, France, Spain and Turkey.
- The books that were most displayed and bought are novels, religion books and gastronomy books.
- The organisers didn’t forget to display Amazigh books in order to promote the Amazigh culture.
- The exhibition suffered from a lack of organisation, in fact, the books were not sort by topic or by author and there were no computer applications to help customers find the books they want. I had prepared a book list to buy and I struggled to find some of them.
- There was a lack of non Arab books, especially English and Spanish books.
I think that such an event is very interesting, because it encourages people to read more and to be in touch with culture, but I hope that the organisers will find out solutions for the remaining problems in the next editions.