81th Book Fair in Antwerp: what's new this year? Author: Michaël Torfs, Ellen Maerevoet

Sun 29/10/2017 - 16:10 Michaël Torfs, Ellen Maerevoet The annual Book Fair has kicked off in the city of Antwerp this weekend. Today, the doors opened to all members of the public. What's there to see in this 81th edition, and what has changed this year? This article keeps you updated!

Two weeks, but with a break in between

This edition of the fair in Antwerp Expo has been extended, running from this weekend until Sunday 12 November. However, while the event has been extended to two weeks instead of one, the fair will take a break on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 6-8 November.

When to go to avoid the crowds?

Organisers advise people to come in the late afternoon on school days (in this case, on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 November), on Saturday mornings and on the late-night openings ('nocturnes')  on Friday 3 and Thursday 9 November, each time until 10 p.m.

On other days, the Book Fair is open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Special events: main theme and De Koers

As always, there are special events, several of them linked to this year's main theme, i.e. books and images. The focus is on the exciting relation between both: stories that became movies, cartoons and graphic novels, interactive games etc.

Other days focus on a special theme, like Saturday 4 November when the spotlights are on "De Koers" - cycle races. Belgium has a great tradition in cycling, both road cycling and cyclocross, the latter a typical autumn and winter sport taking place in grey, wet and cold conditions, with riders battling the mud in the fields, or flat frozen courses on closed circuits.

Friday 3 November has Ladies Night.

Big names: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Over 900 writers will come to Antwerp in person. The fair boasts six stages and the authors are giving signing sessions.

Among them is Carlos Ruiz Zafón, the most read Spanish author behind Cervantes and the man behind "The shadow of the wind" among other books. Arun Ghandi, Candy Dulfer and Nicholas Sparks are other big names.