History of the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL)
Started in 1987, the Guadalajara International Book Fair is known to Spanish speakers as La FIL (pronounced "Lah Feel" for La Feria Internacional del Libro). The annual fair is one of the largest in the world and is a genuine celebration of books and learning. Organized by the University of Guadalajara, it is held in the sleek 500,000 sq ft Guadalajara Expo Center. To locate the fair in time and space click here.
The FIL is a major cultural event for the Mexican people and for professional book publishers, scholars and librarians. Book stores promote it, teachers bring their entire class, TV and Radio stations broadcast live from the fair each day. Last year 559,271 members of the general public attended including 133,750 school children and 17,240 librarians or other book professionals from the
Photo of entrance to the fair courtesy of Martín de Jesús Sánchez Espinosa, Owner, Libros de Todo México
Why go to the FIL?
- As the Librarian for Latin America and Iberia I select materials from more than 25 countries. FIL gives me access to materials from all these countries in one location.
- Most Latin American publishers print very small runs of academic books. If you don't get them when they first come out, the chances are you will never get them. This is why we work with faculty and students to learn their areas of interest and ask them to notify us whenever they find a new book of interest.
- You can see publishing trends and meet booksellers. It is often the only way to learn about smaller publishing houses.
- You can meet with colleagues & new scholars to learn about trends facing libraries in Latin America/Europe/ U.S. and can plan joint projects
- The culture and politics of Latin America are all around you at the FIL.It is always a source of learning.
- Guadalajara is a city of historic importance where fair goers can see art, arquitecture, industry and social conditions directly.
Three photos of murals by José Clemente Orozco (1843-1949), born in the state of Jalisco where Guadalajara is located.
Photos courtesy of Phyllis G. Robarts, University of Miami Libraries
The beauty of books and creativity of publishers is recognized through the Premio Editorial.
Many literary prizes are awarded at the fair.
Every discipline in the humanities and social sciences is covered.
Renowned author Elena Poniatowska was honored by the state of Monterrey.
The massacre of students in 1968 was the subject of a new book by Carlos Monsivais who was honored at the FIL in 2006.
Italy was the country of honor for 2008