Book exhibitions promote cultural exchange


Al-Madinah newspaper

Book exhibitions are global events that almost every country and city organizes every year. They help readers, publishers and intellectuals connect with each other. They also act as vehicles to inform people of new publications and provide them with a chance to exchange ideas. They allow authors, publishers and cultural institutions to participate. They are important cultural events and educational, literary, academic and media activities that interest people are held on their sidelines.

Despite the widespread use of technology and the Internet, in addition to the development of social media, book exhibitions gather people interested in books in one place, something that helps reduce costs, allows publishers and readers to meet each other and provides forums for discussion. They are places where people of different cultures meet and this is why they are valued and loved.

Book exhibitions receive great attention all around the world. An international book exhibition was recently held in Riyadh sponsored by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and organized by the Ministry of Culture and Information. It aimed to promote Riyadh as a place of culture and education where writing and publishing are valued.

The exhibition was one of the Kingdom’s largest cultural events, with large volumes of sales and over half a million visitors. The event also saw over 80 cultural activities on its sidelines. Over 250 organizers were involved in holding the exhibition with the participation of more than 500 international and regional publishing houses.

It is interesting that the exhibition this year included other activities in addition to selling books or welcoming intellectuals. The exhibition has become a place for socializing, where intellectuals can share their knowledge and points of view with different people under one roof. Authors were also available to sign books. The motto of the exhibition, “Books are the Future of Change,” referenced the former one that “Books are Vision and Change.” This suits the cultural developments that the Kingdom is today witnessing, and we must remember that we cannot develop without new means of communication and more cultural exchange.