The city’s history has been tightly connected with book production, book trade and the book in general for a very long time. There has been a Book Fair in Leipzig as far back as the 15th century. Trading books in the old times was done by exchanging printed sheets. With there being so many kingdoms in Europe, each of which used its own currency and created its own customs regulations, it was easier to pay for printed matter with printed matter rather than with money.
Until the early 19th century during Book Fair times the city would be buzzing with people and carriages. Every house in town would provide accomodation for business partners from wherever far afield they came. Shops, cellars, vaults and basements would be cleared to be stuffed with books and printed sheets, everybody would be busy trading and negotiating.
Sabine Knopf and Volker Titel have published a book that guides the visitor around the city tracing the remains of Leipzig’s long historical connections with books. Also in this publication are places where time plus the bombing raids of WW2 raids have destroyed all there once was of large publishing houses, printing offices or the homes of great publishers or other famous people associated with books. „Der Leipziger Gutenbergweg“ (The Leipzig Gutenberg Trial) published in 2001 through Sax-Verlag Beucha.
In former times there were fair Spring and Autumn Book Fairs. Nowadays Leipzig Book Fair is a 4 day event occurring in mid March. There is a special program of events that runs concurrently with the fair. Visitors can choose from a great variety of public readings and other types of events. Many of them are located in very special venues around that vibrant city, for example, et the wonderful Leipzig Zoo or a breathtaking Art Deco public swimming pool. Each year a special brochure lists all events concurrent with the fair – more
Within the Book Fair itself, there is a special area dedicated to all that relates to book arts: „buch + art“. In 2012 a new feature has been added called „Marktplatz Druckgrafik“ (Marketplace for Artists‘ Prints). This is the venue where printmakers and book artists put their artwork on show and offer it for sale – a haven for collectors, curators and every individual interested in artistic printing and artist’s books. And there is an award for young emerging printer-artists: more
I shall have my own wee little stall this year within this „Marktplatz Druckgrafik“ section and I’ll have my newest book on show. There’ll be updates on this blogpost as soon as the stall numbers come out. In the meantime, if you are inerested in book arts or artist’s books there is considerable reading you might want to do, some of which you can even subscribe to. I am including information on further reading, together with the contact links here on this blogpost:
Matrix is a letterpress printed yearbook on themes pertaining to contemporary Fine Press Printing and Book Arts. It is published once a year through Whittington Press (UK), run by Rosalind and John Randle. The next issue is due to be out around April/Mai 2014, and will be No. 32. more
ABYB – Artist’s Book Year Book is published by Impact Press, Bristol (UK) and edited by Sarah Bodman. The most recent issue is 2014-2015. more
The Blue Note Book is a journal for artist’s books, edited by Sarah Bodman. Each volume comes in two sections: more
The Book Arts Newsletter (BAN) is an online publication and may be downloaded. It is maintained on a regular basis by Sarah Bodman. The next BAN will be out in February 2014 – get your copy here.
You can find many book arts related publications at the website of UWE, Bristol (UK):
Parenthesis is the publication of the Fine Press Book Association (FPBA). It is out twice a year in spring and autumn and is distributed to all members. With each volume there is a standard and a luxury edition. more
Book Art Object & Book Art Object 2 is published by the Codex Foundation, Berkley (US), edited by David Jury and Peter Rutledge Koch. more
Draufsichten + SeitenAnsichten – Buchkunst aus deutschen Handpressen und Verlagen, Germanisches Nationalmuseum (book arts by German Fine Press Printers, Germanic National Museum, Nuremberg). more
As for the new book there is a press release (in German) now online at the fair’s press support desk