Large-scale outdoor book fair kicks off in Sofia

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The eighth edition of the "Alley of the Book -- Sofia," a large-scale outdoor book fair, opened here on Monday, with the participation of about 100 of the Bulgaria's leading publishers and booksellers.

During the week-long event, which is staged in 36 tents set up in the park next to the National Palace of Culture and in a nearby pedestrian street, visitors can browse and buy thousands of books, some at 10 percent to 50 percent discount.

A rich cultural program accompanies the fair, featuring meetings with writers, publishers and translators, premieres and book presentations, and even a Bulgarian spelling contest.

According to Diana Boycheva, a member of the Steering Committee of the Bulgarian Book Association, the event organizer, this is the largest outdoor book fair ever held in Bulgaria in terms of the area it occupies and the number of exhibitors.

To some extent, the coronavirus situation has led more publishers to prefer this outdoor format, Boycheva told Xinhua.

Here, each publisher can meet and talk to the readers in person and display their books in a way that is not possible in large bookstores, she said. 

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