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The Leipzig Book Fair (German: Leipziger Buchmesse) is the second largest book fair in Germany after the Frankfurt Book Fair. The fair takes place annually over four days at the Leipzig Trade Fairground in the northern part of Leipzig, Saxony. It is the first large trade meeting of the year and as such it plays an important role in the market and is often where new publications are first presented.
The Leipzig Book Fair became the largest book fair in Germany in 1632 when it topped the fair in Frankfurt am Main in the number of books presented. It remained on top until 1945 when Leipzig became part of socialist East Germany and Frankfurt, in West Germany surpassed it to regain the number one spot. During the East German era the fair remained an important meeting place for book lovers and sellers from both East and West Germany. After German Reunification, the fair moved from the Trade Fair House on the main market square to a new location removed from the city center. After the move, the fair experienced a renaissance and continues to grow today.
Today, the fair aims to be for the public, above all, and to emphasize the relationship between the authors and the fair's visitors. The new orientation is necessary to compete with Frankfurt Book Fair, which sees a much larger volume of industry trading. The Leipzig Fair was one of the first to recognize the growing market for audiobooks and incorporate this trend into its concept.
In parallel to the exhibitions, the Leipzig book fair is notable for its reading festival 'Leipzig liest'. During the four-day fair Leipzig hosts over 3,600 events (2018) both in various locations throughout the city and at the fairgrounds, making it the largest events of its kind in Europe.
The fair is the site of the presentation of several important German book prizes: The Leipzig Book Fair Prize (2002–2004 the German Book Prize), and the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding. The fair also sees the nominations for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis
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