Top international book fairs of 2012

The digital age of reading will be in the spotlight at 2012's major international book fairs, as publishing and reading become increasingly multimedia pursuits. Among highlights: the New Delhi World Book Fair includes a focus on books about Indian cinema, BookExpo America offers live streaming of select programs, and the Beijing Book Fair expands its Digital Publishing Zone.

20th New Delhi World Book Fair
February 25 - March 4
New Delhi, India

The biannual New Delhi World Book Fair skipped a year in 2011 but is back in early 2012. India is the third largest publisher of English-language books after the US and UK, and the biannual New Delhi World Book Fair is the country's largest international event for English-language books. In 2010, more than 1,200 exhibitors were represented at the event, which attracts more than one million visitors. The year 2012 will see an international rights exhibition on books on Indian cinema.

22nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
March 28 - April 2
Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, a leading book fair for the Middle Eastern market organized in part by the Frankfurt Book Fair, welcomed 850 publishers from nearly 60 countries in 2011. In 2012, the UK will be the Country of Focus. Visitors, who number around 200,000, can look forward to daily author lectures, book signings, poetry performances, and live cooking shows.

41st London Book Fair
April 16-18
London, UK

The London Book Fair is the leading spring book event in Europe, with the Frankfurt Fair dominating the second half of the year. While the event spotlights the UK publishing industry -- the second-largest in the world for English-language books -- it also attracts up to 23,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries around the world. China will be the Market Focus at the 2012 fair.

111th BookExpo America
June 4-7
New York, NY

BookExpo America is the premier book fair in North America and the largest English-language book fair in the world. More than 1,500 exhibitors and 500 authors attended the 2011 event, as well as an estimated 30,000 visitors. The 2012 edition will include live streaming of select events. The fair began in 1902 with Mark Twain as the featured author; the 2011 program featured Jeffery Eugenides, Jane Fonda, Charlaine Harris, and Roger Ebert.

6th Cape Town Book Fair

June 15-17
Cape Town, South Africa

The Cape Town Book Fair is the largest book event in sub-Saharan Africa, notable especially for its strong public attendance -- the 2010 edition drew 45,000 visitors. While its industry component is smaller than leading international fairs, the fair earns clout as one of only two joint ventures (with the Abu Dhabi Book Fair) managed by the organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest book fair worldwide. More than 200 exhibitors from 31 countries attended in 2010; the fair skipped a year in 2011.

19th Tokyo International Book Fair
July 5-8
Tokyo, Japan

TIBF is the leading book event focusing on the colossal Japanese publishing industry, which is estimated to be the second largest woldwide. Focuses include general fiction, business titles, and manga, as well as Japan's growing e-book market. In 2011 Spain was the featured country, and the fair welcomed a record-breaking 88,767 visitors plus participants from 23 countries.

23rd Hong Kong Book Fair
July 18-24
Hong Kong, China

Asia's biggest book fair in terms of visitor numbers, the Hong Kong Book Fair is a cultural phenomenom, attracting huge numbers of visitors with its author autographs, book bargains, and cultural events. The 2011 fair, which featured an expanded section dedicated to the growth of e-books and e-learning resources, hosted 520 exhibitors from 16 countries and regions and attracted nearly one million visitors.

19th Beijing International Book Fair
August 29 - September 2
Beijing, China

The Beijing Book Fair is among the largest industry fairs in Asia and has been gaining in importance as publishers set their sights on the huge Chinese market with its growing demand for English-language titles. An estimated 200,000 industry members and visitors attend the event, which is historically open to the public on the fourth day. The 2012 edition will see an expanded Digital Publishing Zone and welcome the Netherlands as the country of honor.

64th Frankfurt Book Fair
October 10-14
Frankfurt, Germany

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's biggest gathering of publishers and authors. The 2011 fair hosted 7,384 exhibitors from 106 countries and more than 3,200 events, attracting 280,194 visitors. Celebrities from the fields of books, video gaming, TV and film are frequently in attendance. While e-books remain a hot topic, conversation in 2011 shifted to ensuring a future for the traditional bound book and other challenges associated with the digital age.

26th Guadalajara International Book Fair
November 24 - December 2
Guadalajara, Mexico

The "FIL" (Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) is the principal event for Spanish-language publishing worldwide, attracting more than half a million visitors as well as nearly 2,000 publishing houses from the Spanish-speaking world and beyond. Digital issues were at the forefront at the 2011 fair, which also featured long-form journalism projects from Mexican publishing houses and hosted a debate between Nobel Prize winners Herta Müller and Mario Vargas Llosa. Chile is guest of honor in 2012.