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Frankfurt book fair focuses on bevy of media

india Updated: Sep 10, 2008 21:21 IST

Frankfurt's annual book fair is celebrating its 60th year with a star-studded lineup of contemporary literary greats, as well as a look at the written word's jump from the printed page to the digital screen, organizers said on Wednesday.

International best-seller Paolo Coelho, as well as Nobel laureates Guenter Grass and Orhan Pamuk, are among the guests at the five-day Frankfurt Book Fair, which opens Oct. 14. The featured nation is Turkey.

Alongside its traditional highlights on education and fighting illiteracy, this year's fair will focus on the impact of new media and electronic readers on the traditional printed literary world. Both Sony Corp. and Amazon will be presenting their electronic readers, the Reader and Kindle, respectively.

"What we are now seeing is something new," book fair director Juergen Boos told a news conference. "It is no longer the computer that is being simulated, it is the book."

Yet Boos stressed his belief that electronic books will not replace their printed cousins, but enhance them by offering new formats where sentences are combined with visual images to cater to a fresh generator of readers.

"No one will replace his Goethe collection for a Kindle," Boos said, stressing that content would remain the main focus. Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Turkish President Abdullah Gul are to speak at the opening of the book fair. Altogether 2,700 events are planned and some 400,000 books, films, audio books and new media will be presented. Frankfurt's fair is said to be the key event for international license managers and literary agents.